I've used this analogy a few times so I figured it was time to add it to the journals.
Many people like to play games but they don't like to work. People will spend hours and hours working at virtual tasks in a game, but they will procrastinate in real life where work seems boring, stressful or even overwhelming.
If you are thinking about freelancing, there are a lot of in-game strategies that you can apply to your real world work to make it seem more manageable, linear and enticing.
It can be difficult to get started with art freelancing (or other types of freelance work). You must develop skills, you must be able to research what people want, figure what things you can offer and how to find the people that want those things, organize your time, estimate prices, communicate effectively, compete with other artists for the same jobs, figure who is a good client and who to avoid, do the work , deliver it on time as described, and get paid.
Those seem like a lot of difficult, overlapping, boring tasks, but all in all they are not so very different from the tasks involved in playing an MMORPG. You start small and inexperienced, you figure out how things work bit by bit, you gather hints and tips, you talk to contacts, you work on your skills, you do repetitive tasks, you upgrade your equipment, you fail sometimes, you figure out what works and what doesn't, you learn the easiest way to do things until completing the tasks eventually become second nature, you take on bigger and bigger challenges and get bigger payoffs. In some cases you decide to start over with a new skill set that will allow you to advance further or faster. The more hours you put in, the faster you advance.
Sometimes freelancing will be frustrating, and you really do have to focus a lot of time and effort on studying learning and practicing to improve your art skills, your communications skills and your marketing skills. However, if you realize that life rules are a lot like game rules, they may begin to seem more manageable. Learn from your failures and rejoice in your successes. Real experience is your XP and real money is your gold.
PS: check out my other journals for more specific advice on getting started with commissions, pricing, picking good clients, and other freelancing tips.