Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hello, My Name Is

+J.R. Blackwell 's blog post today inspired me to write one of my own. It seemed a little weird to introduce myself back when this blog began. But now I have links, I have works, I have, as Niska might say, reputation. So it's time to introduce myself. Though, like so many other entries in this blog, it will double as a sign post and probably make me laugh when I come across is in a few year's time.

My name is Rob Wieland. I write. My clever response to anyone who asks me "Oh, what do you write?" is "Whatever pays." I split my time between a corporate copywriting job that pays my mortgage and freelance assignments that let me write what I want. Walking the middle path is hard. There are times when I'm envious of my colleagues who can freelance full-time and of those who have full-time jobs writing the stuff I do on nights and weekends.

I struggled with calling myself a writer for a long time.  I'm not Stephen King, J.K. Rowling or anyone like that. I knew far too many people in writing programs who were already writing their poet laureate acceptance speeches. Or who spent years working on novels that only they could see and hear. That was not my path. Writing is a career like any other. You start out at the bottom and work your way up. I was afraid to call myself a writer for a long time, throwing words like "freelance" and "aspiring" in front of it. Even now, a part of me thinks I'm jinxing myself by putting these words out there.

My first paid gig was a short story for a fiction anthology related to an RPG. I was never paid and the anthology was never released. My second paid gig was winning an open submission contest for my favorite RPG company. The line developer left shortly after the contest and I never got a chance to write for that line. Heartbreaking developments, but they taught me important lessons about professional writing. 

I'm best known for my work in tabletop RPGs. My hobby which became my passion which became my workspace. I'm best known for my work on licensed RPGs. Shadowrun, which was a game I grew up playing. Star Wars Saga Edition, which got me a Wookiepedia page. Firefly, which let me work with some people I grew up reading. Playing in these sandboxes is an honor and I love doing it. 

I've also contributed to some big world anthologies over the past few years for games like Hillfolk and Fate Core. Camelot Trigger has been an amazing experience. Save Game is shaping up to be the same. Mafia Century allowed me to address one of the big holes in tabletop RPGs. Encore was a shout out to my days as a theater kid.

Right now, I'm looking to expand my horizons. I'm in a good place but I want to be in a better one. I want to write comics. I want to write TV shows. I want to write articles for magazines. The days where writers define themselves by categories are over. I still feel like the sky is the limit even after doing this for over a decade.

Now you know who I am. I'd like to know who you are. Please introduce yourself in the comments.