Lightheart



Adventures

056: Editing TTRPGs and developing your content strategy with Amber, TheSpaceJamber

 

Today’s guest is Amber TheSpaceJamber, a TTRPG editor and streamer. Amber tells us what your editor is actually thinking and looking for in your writing. We also go into depth on content strategies while building your online presence, and all about streaming. Amber has some great advice, and I know you’ll enjoy the episode as much as I did!

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Time Stamps

  • 00:00:00 Introduction & Updates
  • 00:01:52 Amber Introduction
  • 00:08:42 Becoming a content creator
  • 00:13:06 How Amber started freelance editing
  • 00:18:03 Content Strategy
  • 00:25:21 Editing process
  • 00:28:52 What are some common mistakes you see when editing?
  • 00:32:44 What should a writer know before they start?
  • 00:34:25 Amber’s streaming journey
  • 00:38:19 What’s been the most challenging part?
  • 00:40:04 What has been the most rewarding part?
  • 00:42:27 Upcoming projects
  • 00:44:17 Where can people find you?
  • 00:45:30 Wrap-up

Find Amber:

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Transcript

Courtney:

Hello & Welcome to Episode 56 of Roll Play Grow, the podcast for tabletop entrepreneurs, creators, and fans. I am Courtney Stover of Lightheart Adventures, and in this podcast, we talk to the creators behind the brands in the tabletop roleplay gaming space about who they are and how they are turning their passion for gaming into a career. 

Today’s guest is Amber TheSpaceJamber, a TTRPG editor and streamer. Amber tells us what your editor is actually thinking and looking for in your writing. We also go into depth on content strategies while building your online presence, and all about streaming. Amber has some great advice, and I know you’ll enjoy the episode as much as I did!

If this is your first time tuning in to Roll Play Grow, hello! This podcast is a part of Lightheart Adventures, which is a small company I co-founded with my husband. We also do blogs, one-shots, and maps that you’ll find over on our website, lightheartadventures.com. This podcast updates weekly on Fridays, and I get to chat with so many amazing folks across a wide spectrum of industries within the TTRPG scene, so be sure to subscribe to Roll Play Grow on your favorite podcast player. If you’re enjoying what you hear, please consider leaving me a review! Your review might even get featured on an upcoming episode. I’ve just finished lining up my guests for the next couple months, and y’all I am ecstatic about who all has said yes! If you’d like a sneak peek of upcoming guests and to add your questions to their interviews, you can find me on Patreon at RollPlayGrow.

That is all for now, so please sit back and enjoy this conversation with Amber.

Courtney: 

Today, we are chatting with the Amber, The Space Jamber, a TTRPG editor and streamer. Hello, Amber, how are you today?

Amber: 

I’m doing great. How are you? Thank you so much for having me.

Courtney: 

I am excited. We are recording on a Monday, which is always a weird one. Cause it’s like, Ooh, the week started. And I’m tired. And you had an incredibly long day yesterday. So thank you for coming on.

Amber: 

Oh yeah. No, absolutely. It just, it just, you know, might as well keep on going while I have like the second wind, you know, so hell Yeah, Thank you so much for having me.

Courtney: 

of course. Well, to kick things off, can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you’re from?

Amber: 

Yeah, absolutely. Hi everybody. I’m Amber, I’m also known as The Space Jamber and yes, that is my name mashed up with the nineties beloved film, starring Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan. I am a TTRPG editor and streamer. I call myself the TTRPG Swiss army knife because I do everything. I write. I edit, I obviously I stream, obviously I podcast. I write games. I do content management and content strategy for other stream teams. And I’m also a professional content strategist, like in real life. So, you know, I just take all the skills that I put in my day job and I’m like, Hey, how can I make this marketable for the stuff I do for fun? So, yeah. I’m currently based in Washington, DC. I say currently, but I’ve been here for six years, so I think it’s pretty permanent for the time being. But yeah, I love the TTRPG space and I’m glad to be here. Question mark.

Courtney: 

I mean, I hope you’re glad to be here.

Amber: 

You know what I mean? I, just don’t know how to answer these questions.

Courtney: 

I, yeah. I spent a summer living outside DC in Alexandria,

Amber: 

Oh, wow. Amazing. Yes. I don’t go to Alexandria often because honestly crossing the river to get into Virginia is a pain in the ass. Even though it’s just a Metro right away, I’d rather just like, no offense. I just rather would not spend 30 minutes on the Metro if I don’t have to.

Courtney: 

I mean, that’s fair. My parents lived there for a short time and it was just one of those summers in college that I wasn’t going to rent an apartment for three months. And so I went home, which wasn’t actually home. It was just where my parents were.

Amber: 

Yeah, amazing. Well, I hope the area treated you well and that it wasn’t particularly humid that summer, but knowing the area, probably not likely.

Courtney: 

You know,, no, I can actually get into that, but I’m not gonna, cause that was not exactly an easy summer. There were injuries involved.

Amber: 

Okay. I will backpedal then. All right, we’re going to backpedal. Oh

Courtney: 

Other than that, though, it was a great time. And I actually learned how to make chocolate truffles while I was there. So I count that as a win. it totally balanced out.

Amber: 

wait. That’s actually really cool. Wait. Huh? How?

Courtney: 

Yeah. So I befriended like one of the guys that worked for my dad in his office, and I don’t know, it was like babysit the boss’s daughter. Whatever. We actually became really good friends. And so one of the things that we did was I think it was an Alexandra and like at the little old town area, but there was a chocolate shop that would offer classes. And so we learned how to make chocolate truffles in class. And it was really fun.

Amber: 

That’s so cool. Oh, my God. That’s so cool. I’m now, you know, now that I’m like laid off and like trying to find fun stuff to do in between, like in between like applying for jobs, maybe I’ll like sign up for a chocolate baking class. Holy shit. That sounds so– sorry. You blew my mind

Courtney: 

I mean, Hey, that’s a reason to go to Alexandria. I don’t know.

Amber: 

It do be like that.

Courtney: 

Okay, well, we are here to talk about gaming and stuff. So

Amber: 

Yeah.

Courtney: 

Amber, tell me,

Amber: 

Yeah.

Courtney: 

how did you get into gaming?

Amber: 

I’ve always been like a huge dork, like just a huge nerd. I mean, my growing up my next door neighbor introduced me to video games through your like Final Fantasy 7 and Legend of Zelda, both Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. I would just watch him play for hours. And then, you know, it was around the time like Pokemon got popular. So like that, that was like my first game that I owned was like the entire Pokemon series. I never let go of that growing up. And so what got me into tabletop gaming was I. It actually comes full circle because my very first tabletop game was my junior year in college, so, oh my God. What was that? 2012, late 2011, early 2012. We played the Pokemon tabletop game. That’s based like very loosely on D&D 3.5. And so we were running this like Poke- this like grim dark Pokemon setting where Silph Co had taken over all of Canto and the players were like reviving Team Rocket. Honestly, I might look into that and see if I can revive that. Cause that particular table like exploded in the worst way. And maybe now that I have a little bit more like, do I have DM-ing experience under my belt? Like maybe I could run that. Yeah. So yeah, that was my first TTRPG. And then like I took a break for like eight years and then got back into it after a coworker at a old job pegged me as like the only other like openly nerdy person on staff and asked me if I wanted to join like a D&D one-shot that ended up being like a D&D one shot. And we would like say at his house and that overnight, and then it ended up being like three days of gaming because he just was like that long-winded GM. And here we are. I never stopped after that. That was like 2018. Yeah. 2018. Yeah.

Courtney: 

Okay. I fully agree that you should definitely try to resurrect a grim dark Pokemon because what,

Amber: 

yeah. I, I don’t talk to any of the people at that table anymore. Just again, that table ended for spectacularly, terrible reasons. But now that I think about it, people would eat that shit up, right? Yeah, Yeah.

Courtney: 

You got into, I mean, you’ve been around games all your life, which is amazing. I love it. And then you eventually played Pokemon as a tabletop and then got into D&D. So talk to me about the transition from being a player to getting into more of the content creation

Amber: 

Well so part of it was like born from pandemic where I was still playing. I mean, like, I was like casually playing D&D like through like Adventurer’s League or whatever at my local comic book store. But I hadn’t really like found an ongoing game until six, seven months before pandemic. And then, you know, of course, like once we went into lockdown, I really super heavily got into games. And I started my own like, one shot discord, actually, that’s still going to this day. I was having like a different, like one-shot game that, you know, various people in the discord would run, or I would run like, you know, every, like one, every like two or three days a new game. Once I got to the point where I was just playing so many games and I like attended my first GenCon online in 2020, and I like talked to more and more game creators and I was like, I could do this. And then I made my first game, which is like a really, really simplified version of this uh, Episode of table pop, which is like– it was like a show where they just had an idea for a tabletop game and then just made one up on the fly. And so they did one for Great British Bake Off, and I was like, I’m going to do that. So I made that game around the end of 2020 and 2021. I was like, yeah, I’m going to be a game designer on top of all of my day job shit. Yeah. And then I realized, no, I’m I, it’s hard out here. I’m not going to do that. So, and then. I had a friend actually reached out to me and she was like, Hey, I’m writing this game, but I might, I’m really bad at like editing and, you know, checking for grammar and all of that. And I don’t trust like Microsoft word to do it right. Can you like look at my game book and like, make sure that it’s all right before we go to publish it. And I was like, hell yeah, I can absolutely do that. It’s called The Demon Files. It’s like a Powered by the Apocalypse, like ghost hunting game that my friend Alexandra kickstarted last year. After I finished editing it, like the light bulb went off and I was like, oh shit, this is what I can do in this space. You know, you see so many people. I mean, it’s amazing to see how many people, like, you know, from pandemic realized like, oh, they can become a game designer too. And it’s beautiful. But like also there is this niche where like, just because you can design a game, you know, like maybe you’re like my friend, Alex, who like didn’t trust that Microsoft word would do its thing Or you just want an extra set of eyes or like, you know, God forbid typos abound. Being like a professional, literally being a content strategist and like, you know, a professional copywriter, I was like, yeah, okay. Yeah, this is, this is like the market I can corner. And you know, it’s been really great so far. I’ve edited now for Penny for a Tale. I edited up Necrobiotic for them last year. I’m currently in the middle of editing Flabbergasted for Wanders Tome. Now I’ve worked with DragnaCarta who is the he’s the DM for the official curse of Strahd subreddit campaign, you know what I’m trying to say there, like, so I’ve edited like his session notes for his Patreon. Like, you know, it’s opened up so many doors, like just realizing this is something that it seems so commonplace to me because it’s something I do day in and day out for like my day jobs, but like, oh my God. I can feel like my news editing professor from college, like smiling down on me and being like, yes, you, the only one that got an A in this class, you’re using the skills I taught you.

Courtney: 

really cool that, I mean, all of those games and everything, but the one that I’m like, Ooh, interesting. I am DMing and Curse of Strahd right now. And so I like religiously obsessed over everything from DragnaCarta.

Amber: 

Yes. Yeah, no, he like reached out to me and I was like, huh, you want to work with me? Huh? I mean, he’s amazing. You know, he’ll just like DM me, like on discord and be like, Hey, you free? And I’m like, hell yeah. Send it on up. It’s yeah. I am very lucky and I don’t want to say like very blessed, but you know, same sentiment.

Courtney: 

Yeah. So I would love to dig in a little deeper to: your friend, asks you for that very first one. And you’re like, cool. I could keep doing this. So what did you do? Like how did you get yourself set up? How did you start finding clients? Tell me a little about that freelance.

Amber: 

Yeah. Well, honestly, I mean, I don’t want to be like, I hacked the system cause I mean, like one That’s stupid but because I do work in content strategy and I do work in like, the marketing side of the house, I kinda knew just how to position myself and like that’s when, like, I feel very, very lucky that I kind of got in when I did, because that’s when, like, before self promo, Saturday, like really became overwhelming for a lot of people. And before, the hashtag days became very, very stressful for a lot of people. I feel so weird saying this and like, I don’t want to sound pompous and be like, I did it. But being so entrenched in like corporate spaces, like networking is something that I am very proud of being able to do. Know, just being able to like, kind of flex those skills and know how to like directly talk to people or even, checking on those Self Promo Saturday threads and be like, Hey, I’m writing this thing and I need help editing it, but I don’t know who to reach out to. I’d be like, hello, that’s me. I can do that. You know, it’s just, just stuff like, like I just really was not afraid to like really just put myself out there, and like as an introvert, oh my God. That was so hard. But I think also, I’ll be real last year. I’ve talked about this a little bit on main and not even a little bit, a lot on main. The time last year where I really started putting a lot of effort into marketing myself as an editor– I had just gone through a severe mental health crisis, and I was like, just trying to do everything possible to like distract myself from what I had just went through and trying not to go back to where I was. And so really, I also just kind of threw myself into like the, the TTRPG, Twitter scene. Really connecting with a bunch of different creators, just, just so that I could keep that distraction going. So really it was also just me realizing that I needed something positive to look forward to and something where I could continually go to myself, like after I closed my laptop for the day or whatever, and say, I, I am good at something. I do have talents in something. And, you know, I think obviously like the response that I’ve gotten speaks for that. And has really honestly been like a catalyst for me pulling out of that space too. So yeah,

Courtney: 

Yeah, that’s amazing. And

Amber: 

yeah,

Courtney: 

as somebody that also deals with mental health issues and physical health issues, and those definitely go hand in hand a lot,

Amber: 

Oh, yes.

Courtney: 

like, it takes a lot of effort and a lot of strength and a lot of willpower to force yourself into finding those things that can distract you for long enough that it does bring you out. That’s exceptionally hard. And I’m like, I am so happy for you that like, you were able to find something to help you out of that. Because like, I, I just, I understand, like, it’s, it’s so difficult.

Amber: 

Yeah. I mean, thank you. And I’m proud of you for being able to, to, you know, work on yourself too. I mean, the path isn’t easy and healing certainly is not linear. And, and that’s not to say that in the, oh my God, 10 months since, you know, last summer when this was all going down, like, you know, there haven’t been ups and downs because there definitely have been like I’m coming out of one literally right now. I think it’s also it speaks to how important this space is for folks to really help themselves feel seen and help foster positive, you know, relationships among other players and like really help people like foster positive relationships with themselves too. I know I threw myself into gaming, you know, during the pandemic, because I just suddenly felt very lonely with like all of my, my social life being moved from going to concerts every couple of weeks or so, and seeing all my friends at shows and then not seeing them at all.

Courtney: 

I do want to follow up on something that you’ve mentioned a couple of times, and I know this isn’t the like, oh, this is the fun thing I do within tabletop, but I think it is a very important skill that doesn’t get talked about a whole lot. So you have mentioned being a content strategist, so we’ll wait for the sake of our listeners. Can you please explain what that means and what it is that you do within that?

Amber: 

Yeah, absolutely. So the specific realm in which I work is really, really niche. I work in what’s called employer branding. And that is exactly what it sounds like. It’s how your company brands yourself as like an employer of choice. And so to be a content strategist within that realm, you’re really looking at like literally every single thing can be turned into content. And really, an Instagram post from an associate, you know, for example, can be turned into a blog post, to highlight your company culture. It can be turned into, a series of like recruitment marketing materials for your recruitment team you know, stuff like that. So it’s like really taking like the content that you as like a corporation or, you know, even just as like a stream team or, a podcast or whatever, how are you taking, like, whatever content that you make. So like this particular podcast, how can you turn it into a series of blog posts that people can like, you know, go to and give you regular clicks? And like, you can get evergreen return on like the literal time investment that you made, or how can you like turn a Twitter posts into, a jumping off point for like a world-building stream, you know, stuff like that. So it’s really again, looking at what makes sense for the platform? What makes sense for the Audience you’re trying to reach? What really, resonates for your personal voice, like as a creator. And so it’s, it takes a lot of thought and it is something that I’ve been working on, honing my skills out over the past, like five, six years. Oh my God. Have I really been doing this for six years? Sorry. I was like, shit. It’s 2022. Yeah. It’s a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of like analysis and like testing and like looking at numbers or whatever, but like really at the end of the day, like it’s also like really fun just to like poke around and see, like it really gives you like the ability when you’re testing to see like what, you know, what graphic works best or whatever. It is really fun to see like what works and what doesn’t and be like, okay. All right. I thought so.

Courtney: 

What are some ways that you brought that into marketing yourself as you’ve been trying to build up your presence within this little niche that we have?

Amber: 

Oh my God. You have such a great question. No one’s asked me these questions before. Okay. Let’s, let’s take this past week, for instance. You know, and seeing you know, seeing everything that’s been going on with the Supreme court, you know, the draft opinion coming out that saying that they are poised and ready to overturn Roe V. Wade. I, one, in a past life. I actually also was a student organizer for Planned Parenthood and also NARAL pro-choice Virginia. And so like, this is something that like, this is a momentous event in, in Like my activist life, you know? So, combining that part of myself, that’s very, very vocally about protecting reproductive freedom and all that, but also like, okay, how can I take this thing that’s happening in real life? And like, make it relevant to my audience that I’ve built up, right. Like what can I, how can I bring TTRPGs into this, but also like, make it, you know, not make it seem hokey or like forced, you know? And I, I, I think I’ve done pretty well at like cultivating a space that is very very progressive, very leftist, very Marxist, very like, you know, very openly LGBTQ plus supporting very like you know, BIPOC supporting. So I kind of was like, ah, fuck, I gotta do something. You know, the activists within me that was like, oh God. And then like the content, you know, the content strategists and me, it was like, oh fuck, I gotta do something. You know? So that’s when I, you know, on Tuesday, like the morning after like the draft opinion leak, I was like, all right, fuck it. Fuck it. We gotta do a charity stream. So like, you know, it’s, it’s things like that where I considered actually for a second, like putting together like a bundle, you know, like a, a TTRPG bundle. But then literally, as I was like putting together like notes for itchio, I saw my friend, Emily wrote for romance had started it. And I was like, nah, I am not going to steal her thunder. But, what I can do is like join forces with her and look at the content that she’s building and almost use it as a springboard for, the content I planned on building with the charity stream. So you know, I blended all of that. Also. It took, I took a lot of like the old chants that I used to do. I used to use like, as a protester and like really kind of weave them in with like TTRPG language as well. Like, when reproductive rights are under attack, what does the TTRPG community do? Yeah. And then that’s like, when I introduced, like, yeah, we do a charity stream mmkay, we’re going to do this. And then, you know, and then stand up, fight back. So that’s like a very recent example of like how I, you know, was able to like look at my personal brand voice, like both as an activist and also as a TTRPG content creator and like make it happen. And like yesterday was the charity stream and I’m still coming down from the high, so yeah.

Courtney: 

Yeah, I, I think that’s really cool and it’s a really good way to be able to combine the skills that you’ve learned, the things that you’re passionate about and the things that you’re like trying to do to build yourself up and like build your own community. It’s a really cool mesh of all of those things.

Amber: 

Honestly I would not have, I was like talking to my husband last week and. You know, I was like, ah, man, you know, maybe being laid off really was a blessing because it gave me all this time to plan this charity stream and be able to like quickly respond. So, you know, as much as that sucks, you know, at the same time, has been nice being able to have the, like, I it’s like something to the scale was something that I’ve wanted to do for a while. Since I started streaming and like, yeah, I’ve done like one charity stream before in February, but it was like, I was streaming the Sims for 12 hours. So juggling tech and talent and like keeping on time and everything was like, not an issue, but this yes yesterday was like… Actually it was like the. The elite four of like TTRPG streaming, to bring it back to Pokemon, it all comes back to Pokemon.

Courtney: 

I am going towant to dive into the streaming a bit more, but I’ve got a couple more questions that I want to ask around editing.

Amber: 

Yeah. Sorry. I went off on a tangent there.

Courtney: 

Oh, believe me. That’s what I love about doing this show is I’m like, okay, I’ve got some things I have to ask and I’ll ask them at some point. But like, I have no idea where conversations are going to go and it’s, it’s fun.

Amber: 

Well, I’m glad to deliver.

 

Courtney: 

So when you have a game or piece that you are going to be editing, what’s your process? Like at what point do you like to come on board within the development process? Are you like just doing proofreading at the end? Are you ever working on any content editing? Once you’ve answered that, I guess, going into like, just walking me through how you edit a game, regardless of whether you’re editing like a couple of pages or like a super long.

Amber: 

Yeah, absolutely. So as it stands, you know, the way that it’s been going is usually I have been brought in at the very end once the actual, like bulk of the content has been written. So, you know, at that point it does become the majority of it has been line editing, you know, and just like making sure, okay. Do you have your commas in the right spot? Are you being careful of homophones? Like, you know, stuff like that. But there have been instances– actually Necrobiotic was, was a lot of developmental editing too, which is like, you have your story but how are you like taking your story and like really maximizing it to his full potential and like being, you know, being deliberate about like What you’re saying and how it flows for the reader. And like the thing about Necrobiotic as well, was that not only is the book itself, like telling the story of like, you know, setting the scene and doing a lot of world-building for this like future iteration of like Florence, Italy, where the game takes place. But also was translated into English from Italian. And so the version I was given still had like a lot of phrases in there that like were like literal translations from Italian that like don’t make sense to the English ear. And so like, how are you taking, you know, what is an idiom and that language and making it fit, like an American or British English audience. That’s that that’s actually, that was actually like a huge undertaking. And I’ve considered myself very lucky to be a, to have been able to do that project. And I mean, of course like working with Mitch from Penny for a Tale is amazing and I need to reach out to him, Mitch, if you’re listening to this, we do need to get hot pot. He, he just lives up in Baltimore. That’s like an hour from me. But anyway, yeah. So that was definitely a challenge because like, I, it had been a while since I’ve needed to do developmental editing to that scale. But, oh man, that was so much fun. That was a big project, but I, I really loved doing that, but you know, to answer the other question too, it’s like, you know, I do also do some like other content writing for other people. I actually worked really closely with like the foundation for inclusivity and gaming. And so like a lot of just because like that’s an offshoot of Planar and Allies. And I I do a lot with them to like, you know, write the social media posts and I maintain the website and like I wrote all of the content on that site too, just to inform people of like, you know, what are the goals of that? And of course, like, you know, writing the rough draft and then going through the edits with Kyle from fig, but that’s something that like I’m used to doing in my everyday was like, okay, yeah, I write a rough draft. It goes through edits. So yeah.

Courtney: 

What are some common mistakes that you see when you’re editing?

Amber: 

everybody, please use the Oxford comma, please. For the love of God, please use the Oxford comma. I mean, like I’m a particular stickler about it. But like it, I just feel, I mean, not even just feel, it makes your writing so much more clear when you’re like doing a list of things and it’s like, yeah, I got orange juice, milk, and Dr. Pepper. And you know, it flows so much better rhythmically. Also, I like to joke with like the vampire weekend song too. It’s like, oh, who gives them fuck about an Oxford comma? I do. I do Ezra Konig. I give a fuck about the Oxford comma but that again, that’s just me ranting about punctuation. But often, often what I see people doing is really. It’s really nothing like terrible. Most of what I encounter is actually like, you know, I it’s really just like minimal editing, which is great. But like, I just see a lot of people, like, you know, there are a lot of homophones and hominins, when you’re just writing and you’re not even just thinking about like, okay, am I using the right word here? You know, does this, does this make sense? Or like, oh, my favorite is like breaking down sentences, you know? Cause we’re in the age now where like people are now writing the way they talk. And so I know personally I’m when I speak, I’m quite verbose, clearly. And You know, I speak and just one long run-on sentence. And so being able to take those. Run on sentences. That’s clearly, you know, somebody writing and their speaking voice and their speaking patterns and creating, engaging copy from it is, is actually a lot of fun. But you know, I’m a Virgo, so I like boring shit like that. So

Courtney: 

You know, it’s actually funny that you bring up that point because I just started using a transcription software. I don’t know, a few episodes go, maybe like four episodes now. And I never really thought about the fact that peoplejust and say “and” say, and, and then talk and, and, and, and it just, it goes on for so long. And now I’m like, in this transcript– editing the transcript, and I’m like, oh my God, this sentence is like 30 seconds long, which is so much text.

Amber: 

Yes. And I’m very guilty of it. Curses! Millennial speech patterns!

Courtney: 

It’s just, it’s, it’s really fascinating. I just never thought about it until I saw it written down and was like, man, if I were actually editing this, if I were trying to make this be like, no, this is meant to be a written thing and only a written thing. It would, I think I would give up for a lot of the people I’ve talked to.

Amber: 

I mean, I would also just say like consider the medium you’re writing for, right. Like, you know, if you’re writing, you know, a game book or a game guide. Yeah. You don’t want it to sound conversational. Like a, a tweet can be obviously be written in your normal cadence or, you know, maybe your Twitch bio probably shouldn’t be written in your Twitter cadence, but it shouldn’t be as formal as like writing a game, you know? So it’s like understanding like the medium for what you’re writing and like what really works best and like really, oh God, here I go again, just using and, and, and now I’m over analyzing. So

Courtney: 

Sorry.

Amber: 

like I said, I’m a Virgo, I, this is just what I do. But yeah, I think that’s like the biggest take away, like the biggest, like aha moment was like, oh yeah, I probably should not be like writing emails and like pitching myself, like I’m writing a tweet. So there’s that.

Courtney: 

If you were able to talk to a writer that you were going to be editing for before they even started writing, what would you want them to know?

Amber: 

Oh man. I, okay. I know we just went on and on and on about like, okay, yeah, understand the medium for what you’re writing, but also the editing process is there for you to be able to peel back and like refine. To really create the best output possible, right? Like to take what you’ve made and drafted out and make it the best it can be. Your rough draft does not have to be perfect by any stretch of the imagination, because it’s literally in the name, it’s a rough draft. Don’t be afraid to write down like every idea that you have. Because often when you are just writing and committing words to page, you’re also doing a little bit of editing yourself as you go. And you realize, okay, actually, now that I’m writing this out, this doesn’t make sense. So there’s that, but also Please do not be afraid of constructive criticism. Your editor is not there to fight you. Your editor is not there to tell you your writing’s bad or that you are a terrible writer and you should never do that ever again. They’re there because they see the potential of what you’re writing and the potential of the story or what have you that you’re trying to tell and make it really the best it can be. They believe in you and they believe in your content. And they just, you know, want to help you get over the finish line.

Courtney: 

That is such amazing advice.

Amber: 

That’s also me telling myself that

Courtney: 

Fair enough. Okay. Let’s talk about streaming a bit. So I mean we spent some time talking about what you did yesterday, but I want to just go back in time. When did you start streaming and what was the inspiration for that?

Amber: 

So I started streaming in November after I you know, really started picking up like my TTRPG editing. And I realized whatever. You know, when I was picking up in, in jobs and everything in like September and October, I was like, God, I am like in a hole and I’m not communicating with anybody. And I, you know, was like, I feel like I need somebody to talk to. And then like I had been, you know, using in the background, like like study with me streams or like recordings of study with me, streams that I found on like YouTube and Twitch. And then it like hit me like a ton of bricks. I was like, oh shit, I could do that with my TTRPG editing. And so that’s what made me start doing the TTRPG study halls that I do twice a week. Because I have found body doubling is where, like you’re sitting there doing an action with somebody else, you know, on a screen or what have you. Well, it actually works really, really well with me to keep myself, like, I hold myself accountable and like help my self feel a little bit less lonely, you know? And then I later found out that that is something that is traditionally found with people in people with ADHD is that they need body doubling in order to do their stuff. And so when I got diagnosed with ADHD a couple, like, like a month ago, I was like, oh yeah, this makes sense. But Yeah, so that’s, that’s the bulk of what I do on my channel, but also again, short attention span. I, I don’t particularly run like campaigns or on my channel, like in terms of, you know, like coming back next week and we’ll continue this 80 part series. But what I do instead is I. You know, either host, like, you know, have somebody run like a one-shot of an indie TTRPG, or like I’ll run it myself and introduce people to like, you know, a game that I think deserves a little bit more like attention. And like we just do a one-shot to demo it. And, you know, I uploaded on my YouTube later so that, you know, the game designer can, you know, use that content for their own. But yeah, it’s, it’s actually been really, really nice. And being able to like stream, TTRPG content that way in a way that’s like, you know, having that productive side with like the study halls on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but also like the I’m not beholden to like running a campaign at this time at this hour. I mean, like on this day, every week, Also kind of works really well for me, just as somebody who is very twitchy. So yeah, like it’s, it’s been lovely. that being said not being tied down also allows me to like play games with a bunch of different people and enjoy like a whole bunch of different tables and a whole bunch of different like TTRPGs that I never would have imagined being able to play if I didn’t have that flexibility. So yeah, it’s, it’s really been, it’s really been wonderful.

Courtney: 

A question that I really like to ask on all of my interviews is to kind of acknowledge that we do these things because we love it. We get into it because it’s for games that we enjoy and we want to make things around, stuff that we liked doing. However stuff gets hard. There’s a lot of challenges. So when you look back over the past couple of years of, I know the streaming is pretty recent, but with streaming and trying to bring in all of your skills to tabletop with editing games and content strategy, and just all of the cool stuff that you’re doing, what would you say has been particularly challenging over this time?

Amber: 

Okay. I think, I mean, and this is peeking behind the curtain a little bit. But Historically I’ve always been the type of person to Keep most people at an arms length. Right. And like, you know, be a little aloof, protect myself because like who else is going to protect myself? But like with tabletop gaming, being a space, that’s ideally, you know, we’ve had instances where people have betrayed that trust, but it’s about building long lasting relationships and friendships with people who we do ultimately end up trusting with our innermost thoughts through like the lens of our characters, you know? And that’s, that’s been difficult for me. And like I’ve been using tabletop to be able to work on those skills and to be able to become a little bit more, I don’t want to say personable because I think I am quite personable, but, but become a little bit less reticent to like be okay with not just having like a really small tight-knit group of friends. And so I think that’s been, my ultimate challenge is being able to be okay with, being out there, you know, and putting myself out there and the way that I have been. And I think like I said, it’s been a challenge, but I think ultimately it’s been like, And useful experience for me. You know, as I navigate this like journey of self discovery that I’ve been on, you know?

Courtney: 

Okay. You’re right. Like it is, It’s hard to be vulnerable. Like even if you’re playing with people that you do know, let alone playing with strangers on the internet for a charity stream, like I takes some guts. But to flip the question around, when looking back again over all of this time for the past couple of years that you’ve been working on growing this, like freelancing editing business, growing your presence online, starting streaming, what instead would you say has been the most rewarding part of the

Amber: 

Honestly, I think it is having the opportunity to learn more about myself. Yeah, learn that people are worthy of building relationships and building that trust with. There’s been some shit that’s happened in the past couple of months. That’s been really, really terrible, but you know, through that, I’ve been able to find like a nice, beautiful, wonderful core of people that I can, I can really turn to when I’m having a rough go of it. But also like on top of that, seeing the way that this community also is willing to like put their neck out on the line for strangers, you know, in, in some of the best ways is incredible. I mean, it’s inspiring really. And like, you know, you see a bunch of like just really awful shit happening, like outside our door every fucking day, you know, what the hell else are my neighbors down on Capitol hill gonna do this week? But like I find solace in that like, the TTRPG community, like I’ll always has like this almost innate way of like either rallying around, you know, whatever, terrible thing, and like making it better or helping people cope or, you know, just doing utter bullshit to like, make me like laugh and forget it all and feel safe, in a world that like increasingly makes people feel unsafe. So I am very grateful. I’m very grateful to, to tabletop gaming for, for bringing me to leading me to a space that has allowed this like personal growth

Courtney: 

Yeah, that’s super special.

Amber: 

It’s definitely like a once in a lifetime thing to like, feel that you’ve found a community that like, you know, the, the puzzle piece feels like it does fit, you know?

Courtney: 

Well, as we wind down, are there any upcoming projects that we haven’t talked about that you want to share?

Amber: 

Yeah, actually, so I’m wrapping up. Well, actually, no, I’m not wrapping up with flabbergasted. We’re only halfway done editing that. Cause they’re like, you know, they’re writing it and then you know, giving me the chapters as they’re ready. So Flabbergasted, if you backed that Kickstarter last year, that should be coming to you in the next couple of months. Um, Okay. Actually this is not TTRPG related, but this is a project I’m really excited about. And it’s really goofy, but Allie from DiceDrop, Chrissy, Chrissy,inColor, and I are actually recording the first episode of our upcoming podcast. Thirst Things Thirst this weekend where we read just really terrible, awful smutty novels, and then just trashed them. We’ve re we are going to be reading the worst of the worst, like, Omegaverse or insert, like awful trope here and, and like completely roasting them. So, so that’s going to be the podcast that, you know, we’ve been working on in the, in the background. Let’s see, what else? Yeah. I mean, that’s a big thing that’s coming up. Actually, I had a lot of plans for May, but they ended up being canceled because of COVID.

Courtney: 

Mm.

Amber: 

so Yeah, this is actually, I think it’s kind of a blessing that this is thankfully going to be like a slower month for me, because my personal life is like blowing up, I need some time to work on my mental health after coming out of this like tank. But no, I mean, I, I, yeah, well, I know we’re also gonna, I mean, there’s also like a lot of other stuff, like coming up, the pike that we’re working on is just like, not ready to announce yet, you know?

Courtney: 

Amber been so much fun. If people want to find you find your Twitch,, find out how to hire you, where should they go?

Amber: 

Yes, absolutely. And because I don’t have a day job at the moment, I’m actually like open for a lot of commissions. So please, but also you can find me at TheSpaceJamber on Twitter or twitch.tv/TheSpaceJamber. I am streaming my TTRPG study halls every Tuesday and Thursday at 8:00 PM Eastern standard time. We usually go for about three hours. Also, if you want to book me for an editing job my contact info is available at my website. The space jamber.cool C O O L. Like once I saw that domain was available and it was like 30 bucks a year, I was like, I gotta have it.

Courtney: 

Cuz it’s That’s cool.

Amber: 

Hell yeah. That’s branding, baby.

Courtney: 

Amazing.

Amber: 

Yes.

Courtney: 

Amber, thank you so much for coming on today.

Amber: 

Oh, Ketra. And know this, I’ve been looking forward to this all day. Thank you so much for having me. Oh, this has been so wonderful. Ah, thank you.

 

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