Procrastination and YouTube

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Status: good. I don’t feel bad. actually, I feel better today than I have over the last few days. Procrastinating heavily this morning and hating everything that I’m creating right now. Anxious about The Next Chapter. Distracting myself from these two bits of unpleasantness by immersing myself in entertaining YouTube videos. Was informed about something called the MOMO challenge this morning. Immediately hated myself for watching it afterwards which then kicked off a downward spiral of self-loathing, which then lead to more procrastination, which led to another YouTube video. This one from a YT “celebrity” telling me about a NYT article on the correlation between money and happiness, or lack thereof. Now I really hate myself and regret watching it, which is leading me to…………

STOP.

BREATHE.

FOCUS.

Writing.

As soon as I got up this morning, I started the summary page for The Patriot short story. I’m going to finish that today. It’s just one page. I know the story. Time to put it down on paper. Once that is completed then the first draft is done and I can start looking for ways to submit it to publishers.

Settled on a title for the Death short story. Amended the ending slightly to remove repetitive narrative. I’m going to research editors and then send it off for review. I’m willing to spend a little bit of money to have that done. I’m going to take my time and find the right one for me. Being comfortable is key.

Career.

Apparently NTB is still in play. It was quiet for two weeks, but they still have an open position which they are trying to fill, and it’s located in jurisdictions which are more attractive options than the one with BFM. If I’m going to take a job that doesn’t really excite me then at the very least I’d rather it be in place where I’ll be happy. They still have a few hurdles to clear before I’ll know for sure, so we’ll see how this plays out.

The BFM opportunity which I accepted has a start date of 2.5 months from now and I need to begin handing in notices and making arrangements to relocate. Made a half-hearted attempt to begin that process yesterday and then quickly gave up. I’m going to have to white-knuckle it because it’s quite obvious that my subconscious is telling me not to do it. That speaks volumes about my interest in going through with this, but I just need to tough it out and get it done.

Ok, let’s get on with it…..

 

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The Artist Project – Toronto – February 2019 – Part 2

From collectors and curators, to gallerists and designers, visitors can explore and discover works of art from over 250 top contemporary artists from Canada and abroad. This is a unique opportunity to meet and buy art directly from artists at Toronto’s favourite art fair.

Website: http://www.theartistproject.com/

Location: Better Living Center, Exhibition Place, Toronto

Follow Me:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/A_G_Ferguson
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrew_g_fe…
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/franklag19101967

 

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Churros and Social Justice

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Status: okay. better than yesterday, but still drifting. lethargic and apathetic. Not sure exactly what happened, but that really derailed me and I’m not being as productive as I want to be. Don’t understand exactly how typical Monday morning lethargy and an accompanying anxiety attack would have caused that, but maybe it did. Which is a perfect segue to…..

Writing.

Stuck in neutral. Completed the second draft of the to-be-renamed Death short story. I’d like to have an editor review it before submission, but I need to work on justifying the cost. My fear is that it isn’t good enough and I’m just pissing into the wind. No, I know it’s not good enough – or at least that’s the story I’m telling myself. And that’s precisely why I need a second set of eyes on it.

I also need to take the next step with The Patriot short story and write a summary page for submission. Was going to tackle that this morning, but procrastinated and watched YT videos instead (ok, that’s not completely fair – I did complete the Playa Cabana video and posted both the pictures and video to IG and YT respectively. Not exactly what I wanted to be working on, but good enough). I’m procrastinating for a reason and don’t know why. Maybe it’s best to just set this aside for the moment and start working on the next story so that I can keep up the momentum I’ve built over the last few months.

Date.

The coffee date I had yesterday afternoon was really sweet and also an engaging conversationalist. She’s another Lost Girl, working part-time at some health/fitness facility doing a vague job, but this is just until she can figure out the next steps. I didn’t really get much from her in terms of what she was doing to find out what that next step will be, but sometimes we get stuck in neutral (heh, as I’ve described above) and need a little time to figure it out. Other than that, it’s all good. She was really nice.

Will I see her again? Dunno. It’s kind of like having some vanilla ice cream. It was pleasant and enjoyable, but I’m not rushing out to repeat the experience anytime soon. And I think that about sums it up.

Food Adventures.

I recently had cinnamon covered churros at Playa Cabana, and they were delightful. I took photos, but the problem is they look very phallic because they were served standing straight up in a glass with caramel and marshmallows at the base. They were all leaning left. Not politically, mind you, but as you do when you’re trying to stand up straight and look presentable. As you can see, I have a conundrum: do I post these saucy pics to IG or not? I mean, what will my friends think? Will I be subjected to hurtful criticism? And more importantly, how many Likes will I get? Finally, after much deliberation and soul-searching, I said: eff ’em. These churros sacrificed themselves to provide me with mouth and tummy pleasure, and that should be celebrated. So, in defiance of potential invective from the unruly masses and throwing caution to the wind I posted them to IG this morning. Justice served, all from the comfort of my own home.

And that’s been my Wednesday so far.

Nikon D3400
1/15 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 3200

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The Artist Project – Toronto – February 2019 – Part 1

From collectors and curators, to gallerists and designers, visitors can explore and discover works of art from over 250 top contemporary artists from Canada and abroad. This is a unique opportunity to meet and buy art directly from artists at Toronto’s favourite art fair.

Website: http://www.theartistproject.com/

Location: Better Living Center, Exhibition Place, Toronto

Follow Me:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/A_G_Ferguson
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrew_g_fe…
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/franklag19101967

 

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Back to Normal

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Status: ok. just about okay. lost and directionless, but feeling better than yesterday. My body is craving sleep for some reason. Unnecessarily I might add. Slept through the alarm this morning and got up an hour later than expected. At least my head doesn’t feel like it’s full of cotton this morning.

Writing.

Finished the second draft of Death, which will get a new title in due course, and then started researching editors. I quickly became overwhelmed. It seems like there is a whole cottage industry around this task with prices that range from $10 to $300 (and more). I have very little interest in sending an anonymous person $300 to edit a 2500 word story with a turnaround time of 5 days. If you can move that fast then you can’t be that busy, or you’re an aggregator who collects jobs which then get assigned to your employees. That’s not good value for money, in my opinion. I actually want someone who can act as beta reader and provide copy editing services along with story structure feedback. I’m not expecting that to be cheap, but then again I don’t want to spend a small fortune on it either. If I write 10 stories then that amounts to $3,000 just for the privilege. Seriously considering submitting the story without utilising an editor. I want a fighting chance at having this story published, but……..

I don’t know, I’ll mull this over some more.

Date.

Coffee date this afternoon. A bit of travelling to meet this one, but she seems pleasantly normal based upon our correspondence, so I think it will be worth the journey (and time spent). She’s attractive to the point that I’m not sure why she’s meeting me. I mean, I’m not ugly, but based upon her looks she must have plenty of options and I’m not sure why I’m one. In any case, I was impressed by the way she reached out last night to confirm our date today. At least I know she isn’t going to flake on me (something which occurs more often than I would like). It also seems like she has a lot going on, which means she has a life and goals that she is busy working towards. That’s a good sign. Looking at her picture, I get the odd feeling that we’ve met somewhere before. I mean, she looks very familiar. I just feel like I know her from somewhere. Hopefully I’m not being catfished (which is also something that has occurred more often than I would like).

In any case, I’m cautiously optimistic, but let’s see how it goes.

Photography.

Yesterday I tried editing the photos from The Artist Project event over the weekend, and hated everything I did. I wasn’t in the best frame of mind to work on any editing (or anything creative for that matter), so after completing a few pictures I gave up and set them aside for another time. That’s a problem. Days like yesterday are almost a complete throw-away and I need to find a way to mitigate that somewhat. Once I start the next chapter in my career, I won’t have the luxury of waiting until I feel better before working on this stuff. I’m going to have a very limited number of short windows to devote to this and I don’t want to waste any of them. Appreciate that this may be par for the course when it comes to the creative process, but maybe there are things which I can do so that I’m not wasting any of that limited amount of free time.

I need to work through this some more.

 

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Anxiety

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Status. I’m feeling out of sorts this morning. Not quite sure where to start and I just want to drift and indulge in either reading a book or watching some “quality” YouTube entertainment. Decent weekend, but a quiet one. Feel like I should just get up from my desk and move around to get the blood flowing, or better yet I think I’ll draft up a blog post so that I feel like I’ve accomplished something in an attemp to avoid hating myself later on today for not getting anything done (writing or otherwise).

Career.

This is a good place to start and perhaps this is why I’m feeling out of sorts this morning. I had another anxiety attack last night while I was trying to get some sleep. That’s twice over the course of the last few days. The aftermath of the “attack” coupled with a lack of sleep has left me feeling adrift this morning. I’ve lost the focus I cultivated over the last few months and I don’t know what happens next. At this stage I’m just looking for solid ground so that I can regroup and keep moving forward. I’ve experienced quite a bit of change over the years and it’s never really phased me all that much, but I’m reacting differently to this one. My subconscious is trying to me tell me something. It’s trying to tell me that deep down inside I really don’t want to do this. I don’t want to go back to that place where I was unhappy. I don’t want to take that regressive step.

I’m going to ignore it, of course, and just white-knuckle it because I’m good at doing that. I’ve made the practical choice (the white-knuckling isn’t) and I need to keep reminding myself that this is an interim step. Hopefully my subconscious doesn’t completely rebel and throw me into a deep dark hole in the process.

Writing.

I finished the first draft of The Patriot story on Saturday. I also had my highest word count last week and almost doubled my count from the previous week. I’ll take that as a win. Decided to take a day off from writing yesterday in order to treat myself, and I feel like I’ve lost a bit of momentum as a result. It could be mostly because of the aforementioned issue and not the writing itself, but I did find it hard to get started this morning, so fell back to journaling in order to get the blood flowing. Next step for The Patriot: let it marinate for a week before tackling the second draft followed by writing a one page summary for submission purposes. This week I’m working on the second draft of the Death (which will be renamed) short story. I’m expecting that my word count for the week will be lower because of that, but that’s ok. As long as I have a completed draft which is ready for submission to my editor that’s fine.

Date.

She cancelled the coffee date, but we did get a chance to speak over the phone. I think she was looking for an efficient way to get to the actual first date by not wasting time with a perfunctory coffee date. That’s fine, I guess. I still need to meet her in person, but I was grateful to not spend any time on a date which I was sure was going to be a diversion and not something ongoing. She didn’t disappoint and ticked all the expected boxes. Based upon the hoarseness in her voice, which made me think of someone who had smoked cigarettes for most of their life, she sounds older than stated. Couple that with some contradictions in her story as it relates to age differences with her sister, and I’ve strong suspicion that this the case. She’s currently on the road, having just quit her job to head West for nebulous reasons. As such, she gives off this whole lost-girl vibe.

It wasn’t a bad chat, but in the end I decided not to proceed and meet in person. I think I’ve had my fill of these lost-girl types and instead opted to stay in for a Netflix-and-chill type of evening on Saturday night.

Heh, I must be maturing.

 

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Safe Distance

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It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.

Status: good. I wonder how Aesop would feel if he knew that someone was using his name to sell skin care products? Disappointment or, show me the money? Maybe a little bit of both.

Career.

Had a mild anxiety attack yesterday thinking about all of the things I need to and want to do before starting the next chapter in my Finance career. I have 3 months left. Three months of freedom. I’ll be handsomely compensated in exchange for my freedom, but will I be happy? Can I go back to something that was making me miserable? Can I go back to the place which was making me unhappy? Appreciate that this is a practical choice. It’s also the safe choice. So, I’m essentially exchanging my freedom for security. My life mirroring an aspect of the current zeitgeist.

I’ve thought this through already and have made my choice. I suspect that I’ll continue to struggle with this…or, maybe I’ll like it. I won’t really know until I get there and experience it for myself. And, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to give it a year and see how it fits. If it’s making me miserable then I’ll take stock of where I am and re-rationalise the strategy. The good news is that I do know what I want to do long term, and I can continue to prepare for it while collecting a paycheque.

Writing.

I’ve had my best week yet, and my word count is getting progressively higher as each week goes by. Seven thousand words so far this week compared to four thousand last week compared to three thousand for the week previous to the last one. I’ve been able to build up some good momentum and some good habits which are allowing me to be productive. I’ll call that a job well done. For The Win.

I think it’s time to take the next step. I didn’t quite finish the first draft of The Patriot story this week as expected, but I’m close and should be able to complete it over the weekend. I’m finding that I’m very productive first thing in the morning if I wake up, meditate and then start writing, which is good, but then I’m fading in the afternoon. My energy levels drop and then I start procrastinating and then the ball starts rolling in the opposite direction. I need to figure out how to reverse this trend. I talked about using a temporary site-blocking app to help me stay focused, but never pulled the trigger on it. Perhaps now is the time to do that.

Date.

Spontaneous coffee date this afternoon. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see a red flag flapping in the distance. Girls from that dating app who are available to meet on short notice are typically bad news. Most people who have their shit together (and have a life) are not available to do that. In her photo she has wild hair and a mildly crazy look in her eyes. I bet she’s lying about her age.

(Then why you meeting her, bro?)

Because of the entertainment value. That’s it. The crazier they are, the better the stories.

Nikon D3400
1/15 sec
f/5.6
18mm
ISO 100

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