The Hidden Value of Planting Seeds

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If you’re embracing the monthly themes, then in January you found the value in PLAY. In February, you used that month to ORGANIZE, and in March you’re thinking about ways to PLANT the seeds for your career or your future. On the surface, it might feel as if you’re going too slow or you’re not being productive because you’re focusing on smaller tasks. You may not realize it, but all big projects–even writing a novel–can be completed by accomplishing mini-goals one day at a time.

The hidden value of planting seeds to further your career, however, is not the joy you get from seeing your progress or completing tasks–it’s your fresh awareness of time. It takes time to paint, time to write, time to learn a new skill or technique, time to submit, etc. All of the little things you do to build a career adds up, and without realizing it you’ve spent the time required to do the work.

Often, the reason why new artists stop, start, and then stop and start again is because it seems as if success only comes to lucky people and it happens overnight. The truth about success, is that it does take time to master your art. Some say it takes ten years to achieve success, while others claim success is in the eye of the beholder. Regardless of what you believe, the missing component to achieving your dreams is often time; there are no shortcuts and so much is out of the artist’s control. Even if you catch a lucky break, you still have to do the work in order to take advantage of that opportunity. To achieve your dreams there is only one constant, and that’s to do the work and all the many little things that entails through deliberate practice.

This month’s theme, PLANT, will help you establish a deliberate practice because you’re thinking about all the small actions necessary to reach your goals. Then, once you’re confident you’ve established (or re-secured) the needed discipline to make art and build your career, then you can look farther into the future and plan for bigger goals. After all, if you know you can do the work (or have the dedication to learn) it’s that much easier to actually do it.

    Mood: Pi Day!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Enough that I’m floating
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Work out? In a snowpocalypse?
    In My Ears: Space heater
    Game Last Played: Final Fantasy X-2: The Last Mission
    Book Last Read: Black Unicorn
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Legend of the Seeker
    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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