So, when I was about 12 years old, I got really into tabletop roleplaying games. I forged a lot of tremendous friendships through that. I also formed a deeper relationship with my father, because it was my first real major “interest” that he could encourage and participate in. And he did! He cheered me at every turn.
One thing my father always instilled in me, though, was a sense for the opportunity to make money. He loved encouraging me in my hobby, but he also would frequently ask me if I’d figured out how to make money from the hobby. It wasn’t nagging; he wasn’t saying the hobby was a waste of time if I couldn’t profit from it. It was just him teaching me to always look for income opportunities.
I did start to think about who made money from the industry. Like any entertainment medium, there were publishers and writers and such, some of whom even did it as a full-time job. Despite that, my research showed that it’s not exactly a gold mine and most people working in the industry are doing it more for the love of it than for the chance at fortune. Still, I always dreamed that one day I’d be a paid writer in that field, in the same way that young kids who read comic books might dream of drawing them for a living, or designing video games, or whatever.
I’m not 12 years old any more. Long gone are the days when that style of game was my all-consuming primary interest and social activity venue. But I still keep a toe in the water, so to speak. I play on occasion, read industry news, and even – if the opportunity presents itself – send in submissions.
And today, more than two decades later, I got paid for one.
Thanks for encouraging your nerdy son, Dad. I made money from it.