Excuse Me While I Write My Ass Off

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So, those closest to me know that yeah… It’s easy to whine about how hard writers work. For most of us slogs, you have to write a lot before someone will even acknowledge you exist. It’s not just getting readers, it’s finding publishers who’ll take a chance on your work, an agent who’ll also be a good business partner, sorting out the right opportunities, discovering good collaborators — and not losing your mind/going broke/isolating yourself from all humanity in the process. Which, I suppose, is why so many writers are on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest, etc. in the first place.


Getting the words out. That is the most important thing. I’ve often said you can’t bank a career on writing one novel and for those that were successful at it — well, good for them!!! The alternative is more realistic. Words. A lot of them. And you only have so much time to write them, too.

It’s now been a few months since my last day at Steve Jackson Games. I’ve been working with Dork Storm Press and there are some… Phew… AWESOME new developments. (For example: Kobolds Ate My Baby is now available in digital!!!) Others, you’ll see next year.

But for myself? Writing was still fairly sporadic this year with respect to my original work. It was a priority in my mind; but my heart wasn’t in it. It felt impossible. A setback or two hit me, especially when I was relying on other people to come through for my project, and I felt like I was doing this on my own and there’s no one else to “help.”

And that is true. There isn’t ANYONE ELSE who can get the words out but me (or you). Respect isn’t given, it’s earned, and even if you have dozens of novels out there — you may not get it. I know that. It’s just how it is. For some, you won’t get that respect until you make a certain amount, have a set amount of readers, get a contract, have the right agent. Blah, blah, blah. And sometimes, the respect of one’s peers can matter and take its toll on your psyche. (To say that it doesn’t, well… I’m sorry but even the writers who told me they were BLUE in the face that nobody else’s opinion matters were lying.)

But sometimes, even though your bank account depends on it, you need a little push. Or a BIG push. To get you off that “I don’t want to… Shit! This is so much work!” cliff. Maybe you’ve been there before. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe I’ve been there before (I have) — and maybe I needed something to shove me out of my airplane again.

And I got that. I did. It came in the form of what I said I needed for a long, long time. Feedback. Positive, glorious, interactive feedback from multiple directions all at once on my own stories. Amazing how little it takes to get me writing like a crazy woman again. Well, I’ll take that inspiration. AND, I’ll do my best to inspire once again. Because at the end of the day, dear Reader, I don’t want to be known as the frustrated writer who whined and moaned and kevetched all the time — I’d rather be known for the stories I’ve told.

I am EXCITED about my work and I cannot tell you how good this feels. Well, maybe I can. I averaged 8K a day last week and I pledged to write 100K this month!


    Mood: Teary-eyed determination with a side of f*?! it!!!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Not enough. It’s never enough.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: A walk and ow!
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Awakenings
    Movie Last Viewed: Despicable Me
    Latest Artistic Project: In progress!
    Latest Release: “The Dig” The Lovecraft eZine Issue No. 19

About Monica

Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books. She’s worked on a number of different properties including Vampire: the Masquerade, Hunter: the Vigil, Firefly, and Conan in addition to her own worlds.

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