There’s No Fun Here. Or Is There?

Yesterday, I was plowing through words and e-mails and stumbled across this article from Vanessa Fox, who penned “Learning How to Say No Isn’t the Answer.” This phrase really got to me:

The ability to do that — to say no to things you’re not super excited about — that’s a luxury. Most of us who have that luxury now haven’t always had it. In fact, many of us who now have that luxury likely only have it because of our tendency to do just the opposite — not only say yes to everything but to seek out new things to say yes to. — SOURCE: Vanessa Fox on Learning How to Say No Isn’t the Answer.

That is exactly where I am in my career right now. It’s not just financial concerns for me, mind you, it’s also creative goals and career aspirations. It’s about committing to further those aims and to recognize opportunity when it comes my way because I am planning a year or two out. My work, specifically my storytelling and game design projects, are not a guarantee for success. For any creative, there are no guarantees. I have to balance paid vs. non-paid, tie-in vs. original, and marketing vs. productivity. I do this not because my work is an obligation, but because I love, love, love doing it!

There’s this impression that people who work a lot of hours are slaves to the machine. That we don’t have fun or that we’re boring people. Yesterday, I felt like that stereotype because after reviewing my goals for 2012, I have to focus more on production time than marketing or people interaction time — especially online. My new job has changed my schedule in a good way! The time I spend on the computer has to be valuable and the time I spend offline doubly so. Do I have any regrets? No, not a one.

Yes, writing is work. Yes, marketing for Steve Jackson Games and managing John Kovalic’s business is work. Yes, designing games or ripping them apart is also work. But? It does not feel like the traditional definition of work. I feel like I’m my accomplishments are valuable and I’m working with some amazing people. There’s a lot of teamwork here and that, coupled with being able to connect with other gamers, creative pros, and readers, is what makes the day job and these projects so enjoyable.

I guess, in the end, appearances are everything — or are they? Just because an author isn’t Tweeting jokes or interactive with readers doesn’t mean they’re not engaging. Just because a game designer isn’t talking about every individual piece of their process doesn’t mean they’re not busy working. And just because someone isn’t being social or they’re not talking about every aspect of their personal lives or they’ve had “a” bad day, that they’re miserable or overworked or stressed beyond belief.

I’m having the time of my life both professional and personally. How about you?

    Mood: Bubbly
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Two!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Half an hour of yoga.
    Yesterday’s Projects: RPG, Novel
    In My Ears: Enya
    Game Last Played: PicCross 3D
    Movie Last Viewed: The Two Towers
    Book Last Read: The Encyclopedia of 500 Spells
    Latest Artistic Project: Crystal Medallion pendant in silver and red
    Latest Release: Strange, Dead Love for Vampire: the Requiem

Monica Valentinelli is an author, artist, and narrative designer who writes about magic, mystery, and mayhem. 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 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 near you.

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