In real life I’m, like, a foot taller than that guy.
I know, I know. In my previous post I promised to talk about Dinosaurs for Hire, and I’m still going to do that, but something came up since then. You see, what had happened was that yesterday was my final day at BioWare. Now I’ve already written a bit about how my time at BioWare has immeasurably changed my life for the better, but I can’t stress enough how much of a privilege it was to work alongside some of the most passionate and dedicated people in the business.
In working on Star Wars: The Old Republic, I was able to take part in something that was truly phenomenal. I’m referring, of course, to being a member of the BioWare Austin Creative Services team. We stuck out like a sore thumb inside BioWare, to say the least. When you’d first step into our office – which for a long time was a room only slightly larger than a storage closet where we somehow managed to cram six guys and nine PCs – it was like stepping into the secret basement lair of the real-world Goonies. The room was always slightly darker than the offices around it (mostly because nine PCs in a goddamn closet throws off a LOT of heat), the walls were adorned with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Sonic the Hedgehog posters, and we had X-Wings, TIE Fighters, and Clone Wars-era dropships hanging from the ceilings.
Plus the room reeked of nerd and Italian food.
The year that was 2011 now lies bleeding and lifeless in an alleyway, and 2012 has stepped in to take its 366 days (356 if you believe in that Doomsday poppycock) in the spotlight. As I sit here typing this, I can’t help but be in a little bit of awe over how much my life has changed.
January 1st, 2011: Starving Artist
I was terribly depressed. It seemed that nothing was going my way. My personal life was in shambles and, professionally, I had hit a brick wall. I was working 18-20 hour days writing soulless How To guides for various content farms for next to no pay. The work was so soul crushing that I had a hard time putting words down anymore. I would stare at my screen, sometimes for hours on end, trying to will myself to do the work. The people around me would tell me that I was burnt out, but the truth of the matter was that I simply didn’t enjoy it anymore. I was too tired, too stressed and too down on myself to care about my work at that point.
My professional issues bled into my personal life. The career struggles worked to drive away the woman I was (and still am) head-over-heels for, and my inability to pay my share of the rent on a regular basis drove a wedge between my roommate (who is one of my closest friends) and I. There were other matters, much of them involving my family, but I won’t get into those here.
At this point, I was rethinking my decisions. Maybe they were right, I thought. Maybe I’m just not cut out for writing. I should just give it up and try to find something more realistic and stable. So when the clock hit midnight on January 1st, 2011, I made the New Years Resolution to give up writing. I gave up writing everywhere but a single blog (had to pay my bills) and spent the next two months looking for work. I must have sent out over a hundred resumes, not getting beyond a single phone interview. But then, on March 2nd, the strangest thing happened…