On September a Social Media Sabbatical

Yuna Final Fantasy X-2

As summer winds down(1) I find myself in a familiar place. For the past few years I normally take a month off from Twitter and Facebook, and even though I haven’t Reached My LimitTM with all that’s going on, especially given this charged election, I’m about to do the same thing again for the month of September. I did have a few weeks in August where I touched base very briefly, but I need the headspace to not only write but to use my downtime to do some art-related projects I have not had the bandwidth to do.

I understand that sometimes it’s challenging to interact with someone like me, if only because I am so focused on making art I sometimes forget the human container and those around me. But, this space(2) that I have right now, this space to create freely may not exist six months from now, and I recognize that I have to make the most of my time now. One of the best ways to do that for me, is to limit social media for a few weeks to discharge the flotsam and jetsam and make those bits more manageable.

This Fall also requires me to focus very strongly because I have a mixture of smaller projects, big ‘uns, and spec work that I’ve taken on just in case certain balls I’ve thrown into the air never manage to fall back down(3). More than that, however, is the fact that I desperately need to focus on creating in the physical space rather than the mental one. I have over 100 e-mails of story ideas, for example, that I’ve sent to myself while on the road. I’ve successfully managed my consumption(4), such as it is, and have narrowed down a lot of distractions to create. I can tell, however, I run the risk of falling in love with worldbuilding all over again and I definitely need to nip that in the proverbial bud. Worldbuilding is fantastic, but it’s also an easy way to procrastinate because that bit of the creative process is far easier than putting fingers to keyboard. Always has been, always will be.

For September, this means my presence will be focused on work-related announcements and/or blogging if the mood strikes me than being social. I will be answering e-mail and remain in contact with friends and family, of course. This is more of a “turn down the volume on noise” than anything else.

(1) Hopefully, as I am adverse to humidity and hot weather.

(2) Space meaning that complex algorithm balancing the variables of time, money, physical and emotional health, relationships in order to Do The WorkTM.

(3) I’ve learned to anticipate rejection as part of the business cycle.

(4) I limit how many hours I watch television, focus on non-verbal music, and read, primarily, for work just as three examples. Silly mobile games tend to be a source of brain break, but even then I like smaller art projects to help reorder and refocus, like origami or jewelry making.

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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