Sharing Fiction

Week Two: The QuARantine

See all the weekly standups here.

What a week it’s been! In what seems like a blink of an eye, the world has fallen into CHAOS. Ok, maybe chaos is a bit excessive, but at the least, the world is experiencing a very critical disruption from its normal flow. If you’re reading this in March 2020, you know that of course, I am alluding to the coronavirus. If you’re reading this in the future, hello, I hope things are better. Give your family and friends a hug for me.

How has the coronavirus affected my burgeoning agency? Well…

The Good

As coronavirus modifies our social habits as a society, I’ve been able to take a step back and consider what’s best for Sharing Fiction. People are spending their time indoors so I’ve been able to find good work that I can do without needing to “set up meetings.” I’ve been able to catch up on my reading while making calculated decisions for the firm in a methodical fashion. I’ve also been able to go on really long, satisfying walks and listen to audiobooks. Lovely!

New Habits

Every two weeks (the start and middle of the month), I pick up nine new habits. Three are physical (e.g. running, intermittent fasting, etc.), three mental (e.g. meditation, reading, etc.), and three are business related (e.g. call x prospects, make y filters). This time, I thought it apropos to choose habits that would complement the current state of affairs. Which leads me to…

Deep Work

Every morning, I try to spend an hour in a deep work state. Deep Work means no phone, no distractions, no judgement. Pick a task that’s appreciably difficult and try to tackle it. I’ve been picking at Cal Newport’s Deep Work for a while now, and it really reminded me that the best work comes when your mind is fully invested into one task.

Of course, this does not mean that one cannot take breaks. It means that, while I’m working, I’m working. Not half working by checking Instagram every few minutes and fiddling with my Spotify playlist. The results of these deep work mornings have been great. I’ve finished tax forms, two filters, and a few JavaScript modules I’ve been working on; all in much less time than they would usually take.

The Bad

I did a lot of my best work in coffee shops. I get distracted easily at home, so this virus has forced me to confront my procrastination demons. But, I do get to save money on coffee/meals as well. Pro/con, I guess.

The Ugly

Things are moving at a glacial pace, which has quite an adverse affect on my desire to create something that people want. As I mentioned in week one, a lot of this journey is me figuring out what the market needs and adapting my product as such. Many of the businesses I’ve been reaching out to are local, and are fully shut down until further notice.

Times are hard y’all.

Also, Spark AR has halted publication for new filters, which means my two new filters I made won’t be released any time soon in the foreseeable future.

Spark message about COVID-19

Moving Forward

Even though I didn’t get a chance to have any traditional meetings this week, I felt I was still able to grow as an agency. I had a really great conversation with a friend of mine who does design, and she taught me how to set up my own designs and work with others as well. This was especially great, because I was getting down on myself for my lack of a design skillset. This chat reminded me as long as I have a commitment to creating the best product I can, the rest will fall into place; I’ll learn what I need to when I need to learn it.

Spark AR Learnings

  1. You can use jpgs as a base for Spark compression. This results in much smaller file sizes for Android.
  2. When creating mono m4a files for Audio using this website, make sure to use aac as the audio codec or it won’t work on Android phones.
  3. v84 of Spark came out this week, and it’s great for eye filters (they released a new template for iris tracking!)

A-Ha Business Moments

  1. What is the 8020 of your business? What is the 8020 during a time like this?
  2. Apply aggressive positivity to problems when possible. This framing allows you to relish instead of flee from problems.
  3. If something isn’t working, why not try the opposite?

See you next week. Stay safe.