Have Confidence in Yourself! Your Mileage Will Vary

Whenever I read advice either online or in a book, I often feel frustrated whenever I see the words “this is what you must do”. Sometimes, the text is massaged as a conscious decision to present the author as a confident, successful expert. On other occasions, the “must” originates from a deeply heartfelt sentiment. This solution to a problem worked so well for the speaker/writer, that it’s guaranteed to work for everyone else, too. Lastly, there is a style of editing that removes or reduces certain tenses so the prose pops off the page; changing words from “you might” to “you will” alters the messaging and makes the advice sound more personal and immediate.

In my experience, The One True WayTM doesn’t work when you start applying it in practice. The proof? There is no absolute tried-and-true method for weight loss, to write a novel, to learn how to paint, etc. The sum of who you are is comprised of your body and your mind, but it’s also impacted by who’s around you, what your culture/identity is, and a thousand other factors.

Despite the tendency to categorize humans simply, we are far more neuro- and bio-diverse than the stereotypes might have us believe. We do, absolutely, share some things in common with each other; these commonalities allow us to benefit from our experiences while learning about our differences. Those nuances are hard to address when a book is being written to teach you how to plot, devise characters, or draw manga figures; that’s the reason why some how-to and advice books only work for some people.

This is the reason why I have been consciously avoiding the One True WayTM-isms as much as possible, especially since I started the Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge. I do want to present myself as a confident motivator, but I don’t ever want you to feel as if I’m forcing my methods on you. After all, I started this program because I wanted to help keep your creative fires burning and, to do that, sometimes I have to say things like “stop waiting” or “wrangle your brain weasels” or “pick up your pen” to motivate you. I have faith you will find joy or unlock solutions to your problems in your own time, in your own way.

    Mood: Tired
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Not a lot, and I am feeling it.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Butt-sitting
    In My Ears: Dragon Age: Inquisition soundtrack
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Inquisition
    Book Last Read: Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: RED 2
    Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
    Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Read my end-of-the-year list of releases for an overview of what I’ve put out for 2016.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming this month!

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.

Want to Interview or Hire Me? Send Fan Mail?

Would you like to hire me? Because my projects and manuscripts are in flux, I am always open to discussing new opportunities with publishers and studios. As a full-time writer, I spend a portion of my time seeking new gigs–so don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re interested, please e-mail me via my Contact Page. I typically reply to work-related e-mails within one-to-two business days.

Want an interview? If you’d like to interview me or request a guest blog post, please connect with me via the contact page, too. Due to time constraints and other communicative concerns, I typically don’t follow up on requests via social media.

Keen on sending fan mail? I am also happy to engage with readers and fans. Please note that I am unable to reply satisfactorily to certain types of queries related to the companies I work for due to the agreements I typically sign. If you have a question about a TV show or a line of books, the best way to get your answer is to contact the studio or publisher directly.

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