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This particular piece ended up getting a lot of eyeballs on it as one of the most popular pieces for a couple weeks on a popular site. But I don’t remember when or why I had the idea or when I first heard of Pop Matters. Usually I know the story behind my own successful pieces.

I believe this story started as a blog post idea, but I realized it was too good and so I looked for a place to send it.

The idea’s pretty simple: After a lifetime of playing video games, I had to make a decision. The games were great, but somethng had to give if I was going to be as productive as I wanted to be in life.

Pop Matters had more than a million unique visitors a month back then. I read their submission guidelines and hit up the editor in charge of that section I was gunning for. I believe he was an academic from the Northern Midwest. I do know he liked it and convinced the boss to run it.

The weird thing was, they ran it without telling me, so one night I just found out it had been up for a couple weeks! That was frustrating but also exciting. As a matter of fact, I was at a writer’s conference near Chicago when I learned the piece was out, and that’s the same conference I also got my agent at.

Once I contacted the editor, I discovered that my story had been in the top ten for two weeks. Even though they’ve overhauled the site a bunch, and those fun social media stats to reset to zero.*

I hope you enjoy my creative nonfiction piece The Retirement of a Gen X Gamer (or My 8 Bit Childhood)

*By the way, the¬†Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also overhauled its site, and now my pieces there don’t look as pretty or show any impressive stats, so the moral of the story for you fellow freelancers out there is to take screenshots when your work is featured somewhere because you never know when the owners/administrators are going to change everything, take your stuff down, or flat out fold.