MANW Check-In Week 21: Using Silence to Reboot

Make Art Not War 2017

Running at a million miles an hour this week, but I wanted to drop in with a quick tip about a way to reboot if you’re stuck. In a word: silence. I know that it may seem mundane or stupid or even boring, but silence for five minutes can make a world of difference. For me, it wasn’t the silence that was the issue, it was discovering what “noise” meant. Noise. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, the news, text messages, Skype, etc. That, when combined with everything going on during the day, that adds up.

Though it’s typed information, words you read can still translate into noise that gets into your brain space. Sometimes, in order for ideas to percolate, you need the freedom to think. That, unfortunately, is a luxury artists don’t always have. Between day jobs and families and pets and… Well, you know how busy your life can get and how that can interfere with your ability to think!

To reboot, I recommend intentionally recreating a space where your mind has the chance to rest. I go for walks, and don’t bring my phone with me. Other times, I use noise-cancelling headphones and sit in total silence for five minutes. You’d be surprised how short periods of silence can help calm you down, give your brain a break, and allow your creativity to blossom. Next time you’re feeling stressed out and can’t find the inspiration to make art, give it a try!

Mood: In the swamp
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Oh, if I only only counted…
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Hunting Pokemon
In My Ears: Whiny cats
Game Last Played: Pokemon Go
Book Last Read: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: X-Men Days of Future Past.
Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Unknown Armies Books 1-3, and Kobold Guide to Gamemastering.
Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming when I get time.






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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