Why Matt Forbeck is Absolutely Right

Spike and Giles... Together at Last

Tonight, I head down to my first Alliterates meeting with Matt Forbeck and others in attendance. The group was founded by novelist J Robert King. There’s something he’s always said to me, that’s as true now as it ever has been. And that is, being a professional regardless of what industry you’re in, is really about making friends and not looking at people as potential opportunities for your career.

I know a lot of you who follow my blog are new to the entertainment industry, but this is really important to grasp. If you seek out friendships simply because of what someone can do for you, you’ll might find yourself alienated and alone or worse — distrusted. Yes, there are people who do this, and it works for them. That’s their choice, not mine.

Personally, I believe that giving credit where credit is due is one of the most important things I can do, but ethics aren’t enough to feel satisfied. That’s where the friendships come into play and I thank Jason L Blair for that reminder.

Basing relationships on being a good friend means that you’re not always trying to be the star or to validate yourself. You’re supporting your friends whether they’re up or down, because that’s what friends do. And if someone is treating you like crap? Or they’ve forgotten about you because they’re thinking somebody else someone else is more important? Well, then you have a choice. You can either choose to deal with them like you would a friend that’s lost their way or you wait until they grow out of it. Remember, just because you’re nice, doesn’t mean you have to be a pushover.

Regardless, just like there isn’t one way to write, one way to promote yourself or your books, and one type of story to tell – there isn’t one way to be. It is absolutely possible to build a career on being friendly and paying it forward. Matt Forbeck is one of those people, and this is why we’re friends. He’s never talked down to me, never treated me like I wasn’t important enough, never made me feel like I wasn’t one of the “cool” kids. He’s not only supported my work, he’s been trying to convince me to do a Kickstarter of my own, and he’s always got a story to tell.

And because of that, combined with his talent, I will gladly support him regardless of where I am in my career. If treating people well doesn’t engender loyalty, then I don’t know what will.

    Mood: I’ve left the building.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Trying to cut back. Not working.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Housework. A lot of it. NEVER ENDS.
    Yesterday’s Projects: Editing
    In My Ears: Da Birds.
    Game Last Played: Battle Nations! Give me all your gold.
    Movie Last Viewed: Ella Enchanted
    Book Last Read: Leonardo Da Vinci’s Notebooks
    Latest Artistic Project: Cross-stitch
    Latest Release: Redwing’s Gambit for Bulldogs! the RPG
3 Responses to Why Matt Forbeck is Absolutely Right
  1. Matt Forbeck

    Thanks for all the kind words, Monica. I have a hard time seeing why anyone would treat you poorly. We’re all cool kids, right? 🙂

  2. Monica Valentinelli

    It goes back to what I was saying in the post. The people I work best with are also people who I’d gladly be friends with. The folks I don’t, typically are people who are putting their needs before everyone else’s.

    When that happens, it creates hurt feelings, because then it’s about ego and not about putting out a fun/quality product.

  3. Daniel M. Perez

    Matt Forbeck [has] never talked down to me, never treated me like I wasn’t important enough, never made me feel like I wasn’t one of the “cool” kids.

    This! This is exactly how I feel about Matt, exactly how he’s dealt with me, someone who’s only peripherally involved in the industry (if that). I know I’ve learned a lot about how to interact with people in our social circle from the way I’ve seen him, and others like him, do it.

Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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