RP to Straighten out your Thoughts

Good morning, fuzzbutts!

Sorry for the late update. It’s been pretty busy lately with a sick doggo, fumigating the home, yard work and painting. It’s been super productive but I let myself be late with this post. The good news is I got a lot of stuff done and learned a bit more about my goals and what I want to do.

Speaking of sorting things out, I’ve been trying a new technique to get myself out of my own way. If you’re not the biggest fan of journaling to write down everything and sort yourself out, you might want to try running through some roleplay in your head instead.

To do this, close your eyes and imagine your fursona feeling the way you do right now. Then, place them in a situation that can be similar to your own. Then it’s time for you to picture and imagine how they would deal with it or have them talk out whatever is going on with another fursona. Here’s an example where I felt like something was wrong but couldn’t figure out why:

Kulkun, a wuff, is pouring over notes on his desk at the lab. He looks bored, or maybe unhappily busy. Everything is quiet in the office until Kaliki, a rabbit, walks into the office with a stack of papers and drops the heavy stack onto another table. She seems frustrated or maybe a little irritated.

“Am I screwing up? I feel like I screwing up something.” Kulkun asks, still staring at a page of notes. Kaliki sighs and turns toward Kulkun.

“You’re not screwing up anything in particular. You’re just not doing the things we should be doing.” Kaliki responds. “You’ve been picking too many projects and a lot of them aren’t even what we started all this for. The dye project isn’t even worth it.”

“The dye cost me enough money I don’t want to abandon the project. It’ll get finished soon.”

“Soon? You’re not working on it, though. You need to either dump it or finish it so we can get to work on something else. That dye program is eating way too much time and causing us a lot of trouble. You don’t work on it because you don’t want to. We need to get back on track.”

“Look, it was expensive and we can still make the money back and then some. So we should work on it and get it done.” Kulkun says stubbornly, standing up. Kaliki folds her arms across her chest, one ear perking up.

“So when? We have to get focused.”

“Now. Every day until we get it done. I’m sorry for not focusing on this and putting you through this. We really should get back to having fun and enjoying the work we do.” Kulkun says, speaking with a bit more resolve. Kaliki perks up a little bit, both of their moods improving.

“Ok. Let’s do it.”

Alright so that was useful and let’s review. I felt like something was wrong. I couldn’t really pinpoint it. Both of my characters were feeling the same thing but by asking Kaliki, the overall issue of “I’m doing too many things” surfaced with one in particular standing out as a bad project. In my real life case, it was making tails for extra cash. There’s resistance to dropping it from my life because I threw so much money into it (Sunk-cost fallacy of throwing good time and money after bad. I’ve discussed this concept in the past). Still, I confronted the fact it’s not a good thing to work on and that I haven’t been seriously trying to get it done, letting it bother me instead. In the end, I realized I need to get focused and spend time every day on it to finish it. I entered this exercise just feeling like something was wrong or I was doing something wrong and came out of it with a plan!

Give this a shot to address how you feel or how you need to approach something or to approach your mood and why you feel certain ways. I haven’t decided if this is more effective than journaling but it’s definitely a bit more fun!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Nightly round-up

Hello fuzzbutts!

Today’s tip is to remind you to do something you probably do anyway, even if you don’t realize it.

As you lay your head down to sleep, I want you to review your day. You probably do this, thinking about the things that bothered you, the things you didn’t get done today. Sometimes there’s so many things you didn’t do that you suddenly feel “motivated” or have a creative breakthrough where there’s some idea you wish you could get down on paper before your pass out but you’re just too physically tired now. Sometimes this leads to a loss of sleep because you feel so poorly about yourself as you feel physically tired but suddenly you’re mentally awake.

So, rather than do it like this, why not take control of this process that comes so naturally already? Approach it with a plan!

The plan is simple: Think about the things you wanted to do today, which things actually got done, and what things you want to do tomorrow. It’s really that simple. Rather than letting things run rampant in your mind and making yourself feel bad, you can focus on the specific things and come up with an ordered list of things you wanted to do. By then focusing on the stuff you got done, you can start to feel like you had a productive day and avoid feelings of uselessness. Then, by laying out the tasks you want to get done tomorrow, you have a plan. Plans help us calm down when it seems like there’s so many daunting things to do and stop beating yourself up. Now we can sleep better so long as we stick to the plan and keep checking things off the list and making progress!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Build your pack (or herd, or flock)

Hello fuzzbutts!

I realize I’ve had a couple posts about separating yourself from toxic people or anyone who doesn’t support your goals and dreams. So why not talk about the converse? Time to start finding those with similar interests and goals and hooking together with them!

Want to build fursuits? Start interacting with fursuit makers or others who want to build them. Want to draw more? Start trying to talk with other artists or, if possible, stream with artists who do similar artwork as you. If you actually end up having a couple of fans who appreciate your work, try to be available to them since their encouragement will help fuel your desire to practice and improve.

So how do we find these people? Naturally, don’t aim for the top. If you try jumping straight as a beginner to going for those like MixedCandy or MadeFurYou fursuit builders, they’re probably swamped with people already talking to them before some rando emails asking to be a friend. Same for artists like Strype or Blotch or whoever. Nope! So where do you go?

There’s groups all over the place. Multiple telegram groups for fursuit builders and artists. Multiple places to find the types of people you can interact with. Keep in mind you have to interact with them. You won’t get a whole bunch of reward from groups you don’t contribute to or be active with. Want to meet more furries, look up local meets or maybe even start your own to bring them around. Want to be more active, there’s tons of groups out there for that, whether it’s light or heavy training. Writing workshops, skill development, whatever it is. You can meet people who will help you along toward your goals.

Again, it’s necessary to vet these people too. Join an art group where everyone seems to be negative or your feel like your work gets more hate than constructive critique? Dump them and find a better group. Joining a walking club but nobody is friendly and takes it more like a job than a chance to be healthier? Dump them. You have to find people who resonate with your core values and motivate you to work toward your goals.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Site Blockers

Hello fuzzbutts!

Hope you’re all doing well. It’s a beautiful September Wednesday where I am and I hope you’re enjoying the weather wherever you are.

Today, I wanted to let you know about one small thing I use for productivity. I find it way too easy to look up good ole Google News, browse the stories, and end up spending way too much time in the comments section. Not just there, but also websites like buzzfeed or those slide-show websites that tell stories one picture at a time while flashing a million ads around the page. I don’t recall the last time I actually got anything useful out of those websites yet I kept clicking on them.

To overcome this distraction, I installed a simple extension in Google Chrome that lets me block websites. I block google news and I block any websites that do the slideshow thing. I still have the news on my phone so if I really need to read something, Ican force myself to do so on my small phone screen but I’m far less tempted to do so compared to my large monitor screen. At work, I still sometimes mindlessly click the google news shortcut and end up looking at the BlockSite screen. The moment that blocked notice comes up, I shake it off and go back to work. Same at home. I start getting distracted by something, see the blocksite screen, then go back to whatever I was working on, drawing, or learning.

If you can get as distracted as me, consider just cutting off everything that doesn’t serve you. Install something like Blocksite, add some websites to it that eat your productivity, and the stay on track!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Silence the Negative Voices

Good morning fuzzbutts!

If you’ve been around here for a little while, you probably have a couple of good goals set up for yourself. You started putting in the work, pushing yourself to get those goals. You probably told some people, feeling pretty proud. They might have been happy for you. Then again, maybe they tried to talk you out of it.

Today I want you to protect your goals and dreams. There will be a million excuses to stop, sometimes all told to you by one or two of your friends and family. If you’re not careful, your big dream will become “too big” for you. People might mean well but they don’t know your life or hopes as well as you do.

So what happens when the outside world tries to “help” you by killing your dream? You cut them off from it. Don’t bring it up to them, don’t talk about your dreams to them, and don’t let them bring it up either. They might even ask you to settle on your dream. You don’t have to lose 50 lbs, you already did 20 lbs and you look great! No. You set your real goal already. Keep up the good work and keep the goal in your heart.

Watch your own inner voice too. When things get hard, you might go back to your default excuse of missing out on time or doubting your ability. I’ve heard so many people make excuses to avoid their dream job, as if it takes luck more than anything. One example is a non-fuzzbutt friend of mine wants to play guitar covers for recording studios. I’m not personally clear or what exactly it is. They make good money and it’s super fun, he says. “Why don’t you do it?”, I ask. “Well I need to learn sheet music and it’s about who you know.” is their excuse. So what? Sheet music isn’t so crazy once you get started, you know how to play guitar, and if it’s about who you know then try to meet those people. But nope! This guy has let his inner voice convince himself that his dream is impossible. It doesn’t matter that other people are living that dream and they had to learn sheet music and make connections. It’s impossible.

Don’t do that. You can do the thing. There’s no good reason to NOT pursue your dreams. If you put in the effort, you’ll run into some hurdles but you can overcome them as long as you stay on track and diligent. Don’t let anyone, least of all yourself, talk you out of your dreams or let you think you can’t really do it. You don’t have 1000 years to get your head in the game so let’s get moving!

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Sell and sell often!

Good morning fuzzbutts!

Today, I want to keep telling you to reduce clutter. I’ve gone over it before but it’s an ongoing process. It’s easy to keep acquiring things you don’t need. Your room might be clean for a while but then what happens? New little things start piling up. Not so long after your room is organized and cleaned, it looks the way it did before. So what do you do with the stuff that shows up?

Sell it! Get rid of it! I was making great progress selling a bunch of things and then what happened? My family saw me decluttering and then started handing me stuff, asking me to sell it. They didn’t want it so it filled up the room again with random stuff, some of it junk and some of it worth money. Yet almost all of it seems to sell. What doesn’t sell ends up at the Goodwill but a surprising amount of it actually sells and I get to split the cash. Cash for what? Whatever I want. Whether it’s an item I actually could use or commission some art or pay my way to a furcon or get some food!

You may not get much cash for the stuff you’re getting rid of but you may get enough for something you really want. On top of that, it just feels way better to be in a clean room with so much less on your mind!

 

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Goal Check in

Hello fuzzbutts!

This week I wanted us all to check in on how we’re doing with our goals! If you were around or scrolled back enough to some of the early posts in this blog, you might remember me going through the process of writing down a smart goal. That goal was to draw something good enough for 30 faves on furaffinity within 6 months. With the mid-September deadline looming closer, it’s time to see how I’ve been doing!

Close but not quite yet. My most popular image in those six months is a recent one that, at the time of this post, has 28 faves. There’s a chance this still might hit 30 before the deadline but I’m having fun with drawing on my tablet so there’s no reason to quit. Besides! If I quit after 30 likes, then what was the point of making this a serious goal that I care about?

The Review

Let’s go over how I’ve done with an honest self-assessment on how hard I worked toward this goal. Could it have gone better? Yeah. The whole moving back in with family thing definitely impacted my ability to sit down and draw. Even then, however, I wasn’t the greatest at sitting down after work and drawing either. I usually left work with very little motivation to do stuff so I wasn’t fulfilling my “Draw X hours per week” action item.

So what didn’t work? Waiting until after work. What does work? Drawing in the morning before I hit the gym and then go to work. My mind is in such a better place in the mornings that I can accomplish it. Also, streaming online with friends is a good way to keep me drawing since I don’t want to be the furst to cut out of the stream and I like chatting with pals (partially solving my laziness issues after work). Also, drawing with my new Huion GT-220 has felt much less frustrating than previous tablets and even better than sketching in a notepad since I can zoom in and make endless lines until I have the one I want as opposed to erasing like crazy and risking ruining the rest of the image.

So I still have time to draw up some art to reach my goal. In the meantime, I’ve posted up much more art than I have in previous years, I’ve gotten many new followers, I have a better relationship with my artist friends who I hang with more now, and I know myself better in how I operate effectively.

So do your own self-reviews, check your goals, and see how you can do better!

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!