Be sure to show off your experience too. Whenever I send an email to a PR rep or someone who may not know who I am, I always include in my signature the places I've written for. It shows that I'm a serious writer who has chops. I may just be a freelancer, but I'm a freelancer with credentials (or Geek Cred as my son likes to call it). Even if the places you've written for are small, it shows you've been published and you're not some random fanboy looking for a handout. I'm not saying you should be pushy or annoying, that will just tick people off. But being shy isn't good either. Meet people, introduce yourself, go to gaming events, and send emails to people you'd like to work with or who inspire you. Events like E3 or GDC are great places to meet people. I met Shoe 4 or 5 years ago by accident when we shared a cab from G4TV's studios to the LA Convention Center. I met Dan Amich at E3 three years ago by walking up to him and saying hi. He didn't know my face but he recognized my name. Now he has a face to go with it. Do the same with PR people. Most PR reps treat me great because I'm always joking around with them when I go to E3. I'm not asking for anything, I'm just being social. They remember that when I actually do need something, even though I'm just a freelancer.
Several gaming companies and magazine publishers are based in California and it's also where some of the biggest yearly gaming events take place. It's just where more opportunities lie. My friend Matt Swider moved from to LA and is running from there. Why? Better industry access. Move to California. If you're reading this you're probably young, single, and have no kids. If you really want to make it as a full time game journalist, moving is something you have to consider. I'm too old, have kids, and have a mortgage. I'm not going anywhere. Of course this doesn't mean you have to move. There are a number of people I know who work freelance full time and live where they want (my buddy
If this really is your dream, you can't quit. I turned 40 this year so I've had plenty of jobs (part-time and full) over the course of my life. Some I've hated, some I've loved. The ones I've really enjoyed were the jobs that I was passionate about regardless of the pay. It sounds like a cliche but it's true. Figure out if it's gaming or writing that you really love. That'll be the starting point to figuring out what your career path will be. Maybe it's not even anything to do with gaming or writing. Do what you're passionate about and money will figure itself out. Do that and you'll be a happier person.