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4 Things I Learned About Writing from Playing World of Warcraft

Carol Tice

By Williesha Morris

The massively-multiplayer online game World of Warcraft (WoW) is the game of choice for me and my husband’s family. When I started playing, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I started making connections between this game and writing.

Here are four things I’ve taken from my WOW gaming that have served me well in my writing:

1) You’re only as good as your weakest member

Whether in a team-based environment or in your relationship with an editor, one weak element left unaddressed can lead to trouble. Think about squabbles over writing technique or lack of communication.

Another important team is you and your writing mentor.

In WOW, there are instances or raids where you are fighting powerful monsters, and one person is the leader. On quests, a much higher-level character will assist a “lowbie” in gaining experience faster (referred to as “powerleveling”).

The writing process can be a solitary endeavor. Getting wisdom and guidance from more experienced writers can help you avoid pitfalls and quickly “level up.”

2) With the right gear, a newbie can succeed

One popular WoW strategy is “twinking.” With this strategy, low-level players are able to compete (and defeat) higher-level players.

How? They have the right gear and weapons to be successful.

For new writers, your “twink” could be a killer portfolio, productivity apps, books, or writing courses.

You will encounter folks who have only been freelancing for a year or two and have become successful. This blog is an example of useful information brand new writers can use to equip themselves.

Buck up your courage and get out there. Remember, every player in the writing game starts at level one.

3) Mundane actions lead to achievement

“Grinding” is the heart of WoW. Whether you are solo questing or building skill in professions such as mining or leatherworking, there can be a significant amount of grunt work. This could mean staying in one area and collecting the skins of dozens of monsters, or mining ore in caves over and over to gain expertise.

Guides can assist you, but no one can acquire those skills or experience for you. Persistent practice is key.

We’d like to think writers love everything they write or gleefully handle administrative tasks like marketing or website creation. That’s not always the case. But being a writer means always learn something new.

4) There is no “end game”

The level cap in WoW is 90, but game developers, of course, want you to stick around.

So an instance (an area where it’s just your party fighting elite monsters) is a new experience each time, and there’s always better gear to obtain. When you think you have completed everything, there’s brand new content.

The game of writing is the same. New books and blogs crop up to enhance your writing or give you an edge on the competition. New magazines are launched all the time.

I came back to WoW after a long hiatus and everything had changed. There were new expansions, which meant new areas to explore, new quests and new characters. Even my old character’s skills had been altered significantly.

It was like starting all over again.

That reminds me that it’s important to not stagnate. I need to stay on top of writing trends and technology to be successful.

What interests in your life teach you valuable freelance writing lessons? Leave a comment and share it with us.

Williesha Morris enjoys two different worlds when she’s not gaming – freelance writing and administrative consulting. You can read her blog here.