Navee Mentee Interview – Gavin

What’s your current job or area of study?
I work as a a Higher Education champion at the Norwich University of the Arts but also work on game development in my own time, as an independent game writer.

How did you find out about Navee?
I found out about it directly from the programme team because they posted about it on social media.

Why did you apply specifically?
So coming from the film production background, very much all about narrative design and just writing and the thought of going into games writing and narrative design is really exciting for me
moving forward as a writer and it’s an area that I’ve always been kind of interested in, but really kind of struggled with figuring out how do I get there? But also, typically, as a writer, we spend a
lot more time thinking and worrying and being anxious rather than actually doing the writing itself. So I needed that kick, that push, to really get back into creative writing, especially when
trying to juggle a full time job and other projects as well. It’s that mix of just finding out more about the industry but also having that push, having someone to really sit me down and help me
get back into creative writing again, and get a portfolio together and kind of move on from there.

What do you think Navee has helped you with?
It’s definitely helped with confidence. I think we all have to deal with that as creatives in any area. We’re all our worst critics, but having an industry professional, kind of help with that and
push you forwards, as well as giving back. Honest, critical feedback, just having that confidence and reassurance of, yeah, what you’re doing is great, this is how you can improve and move
forward and that’s been really helpful. And just also helping with the knowledge as well. Because again, coming from that film production background, you pick up a lot of stuff for writing
and narrative design but trying to apply that into the world of games, I’ve never done anything like that before. So it really has been like a crash course in games writing as well and it’s been
just fun learning about all the little intricacies and those differences in writing for completely different mediums, different formats. So that’s been really helpful as well.

Has anything changed as a result of the mentorship?
Yeah, definitely in terms of just getting back into that groove of writing again, because I hadn’t written creatively for quite a long time. I’ve done some journalism bits but in terms of pure
creative writing, whether that’s screenwriting or games writing and narrative design for games, I hadn’t done that for such a long time. There was a point during this mentorship where because
of getting into that flow of writing weekly again, I just smashed out a short film script over a weekend and I hadn’t done that in years and that was just an incredible feeling. And although it
doesn’t really have anything to do with games and the mentorship, just getting back into that flow of creative writing, it all stems from this mentorship and it was one of the best feelings I had
in a very long time. That was amazing.

How have you and your mentor worked together to achieve your goals?
Yeah, it’s been a really great collaboration. And I like the fact that before the mentorship really kicked off for us, we got to know each other a bit and really figure out how we work as well,
which was really helpful. Realizing we have our own jobs, we have our own lives and other responsibilities. We can’t just sack everything off and dedicate everything to this mentorship, as
much as we’d want to, that’s just not reality. That was something I wasn’t quite expecting and now I’m really thankful for, with the relationship that we’ve had and really taking that into account
going forward. We’ve come up with a schedule where we meet every two weeks, and we have a set task for myself to do, so one week I’ll be working on a task, getting feedback, and then the
next week, I’ll approach a different task and we kind of have a cycle of meeting up, receiving feedback, making those edits and then the second week I’ll approach this new task, send it off
to him to give feedback for when we meet up next, and rinse and repeat from there. I’m all about my schedules, love my schedules. We knocked out of the park from there and it’s just been really easy and smooth sailing going forward and just really proactive.

Any other points you’d like to add about Navee etc.?
I think one thing that was really nice about it is, I mean, not saying I’m ancient or anything like that, but compared to you know, I’ve already gone to university, I’ve even done a Masters as
well and seeing a lot of people within the community, they are game students and just having an opportunity for someone who’s a little bit older, who’s not even coming from a gaming
background as well. Just having that opportunity has just been incredible. Just forever thankful I’ve managed to do this, because without this I definitely wouldn’t be in a spot where I am now.
I’ve nearly got a confident portfolio to go out into the world with and it’s just been a big thanks to the organizers and particularly Robin because obviously if I’d never met Robin, I wouldn’t have
heard about this. And, to my mentor Tom as well. He’s just been amazing throughout and just feeling very lucky, very fortunate and just fingers crossed for the future going forward really.

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