Worst case scenario

Enough good input will get some not-too-shabby output. 

I’ve always practised my life through the lens of the worst case scenario.

  • What if I would never be enough?
  • What if the shit hit the fan?
  • What if I got too broke?
  • What if I went loco?
  • What if I just didn’t have what it takes…

Well, if I’ve learned anything during my three-year LA sojourn, it is this: if you can’t be your own cheerleader as a writer, nobody else will. You can’t swallow and spit at the same time.

But how to believe that you’re good? It’s like the age-old chicken-or-egg debate. If you don’t have the talent, why even start? But if you don’t start, how else would you know that you’re pretty good actually?

Then, there is something in between. If you keep at it, you will get there. Someday. The next question is: how long is that someday? Ten months? Or ten years?

Sometimes, being a writer or any kind of artist need some level of self-hypnosis in the reality distortion field. You have to be crazy enough to want to be a writer, I think. With all the bleak future and the hard passes without even getting to the first bae, you have to convince yourself to go the extra mile, to write that extra page, to finish something else to call it your own fugly baby. And then, try to pitch it, sell it. In a way, you’re just like an entrepreneur. Time is basically your chips before it ran you out.

After days of distress, I got some good news from the two writing projects I was working on. The result was more than good. My clients were thrilled. And the revision notes would be minimum – so they say.

All my worst-case scenario drills for nothing?! Fuck it then. Going forward, I will replace it with something else: Okay. I know I’m good. What’s next?

I have a feature rewrite gig and two more short film collabs coming up in the next 30 days or so.  Of course, part of my motivation is for my visa credits. But then, it’s going to be good training for my future career as I turned pro, juggling enough projects so I didn’t starve myself to Gandhi.

Come to think of it, all I can do is just write my best as I can. Worst case scenario is nothing but ‘Thank you but it’s not good enough.’  Meaning not good enough for now if I use some reality distortion.  But I will get better tomorrow.

Writing will be then just like math. Enough good input will get some not-too-shabby output.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. I learned a thing or two from my guest this week who is an eternal optimist. Tune in and find out.

Purpose

I bounced off the bed within five minutes after I woke up.

Bounce, a verb that I haven’t used to describe myself getting off the bed. It has been a drag for the last few months.

Right now, I’m charged with a new sense of purpose.

I know I want to go back to LA sooner than later. I know the list of things I need to do in order to get my back, like creating a portfolio.

What was invisible has become tangible.

I think I can do it. So I will start planning.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. I recorded a new episode with Barbara Kiao. I will ship it next week. This week, I need some proper rest while I wait to get back on Google.

 

One thing I wish I’d known

You know, networking is working.

… three years ago.

I get this question a lot lately.

To be fair, I also ask this question myself a lot lately.

And here is my answer:
I wish I could to be more open and less frightened.

I was open enough to live in a foreign country not knowing a single soul in LA when I embarked on this journey.

I was also brave enough to dare myself to write screenplays in English when I had no professoinal training in creative writing in my previous life.

But at the same time, I wish I could be more open so I would have more diverse experience livin’ the California dream. But I said no a lot to social events. My excuses came in threefolds: a) I had no money; b) I can’t drink; c) I had too much shit going on from writing to life in general.

I’ve always been quite skeptical about networking. It’s like debating whether or not to marry a rich asshole who can give you your greencard although he may divorce you whenever he wants. Worse yet, he may call off the wedding in the middle of ceremony.

Okay. Networking, you’re way better. Sorry for the inappropriate metaphor.

Joke aside, I just don’t want networking to mess up my biological clock. I’m a morning person in general – not so much these days as you see when I post my blogs over the last few days.

But lately a friend’s remark makes me think twice, “You know, networking is working.”

I looked at the dude and realized it was the truth. Just by spelling out
“n-e-t-w-o-r-k-i-n-g,” you realized that ‘work’ is in the word.

Dang it.

But truth is, I realize that people can be much more fun elsewhere when they are not in the workspace. Maybe I’ll give it second shot when I’m back in Shanghai before I get too complacent after settling in.

Stay tuned!

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Seth Godin’s Podcast Fellowship is opening an autumn program. Check it out for yourself if you’re also playing with the idea of podcasting.

PPS. Check out the latest #RBYZ episode featuring myself. It reads narcissistic. But hope it won’t sound so. Judge it for yourself.

 

Why always me

When I get beaten the shit out by life, I scream, “Why (the fuck) always me?”
When I get lucky, I never ask the same question… until now. 

At 1:45 PM, September 15, 2018, I walked out of my studio apartment for one last time, call it mine for one last time.

 

In front of my landlord’s premium Range Rover, he handed me the pen and the paper. I signed. He tore the check and gave it to me.

The amount was exactly what we had agreed upon, including the six-piece furniture which I sold to him at a great price, including the move-out incentive, including the full security deposit.

Wait, can it be true? It felt surreal.

Is the check real? Will it bounce back?

I was breathless. I was a woman on a mission. I held on to the check, scooted to the bank, deposited it, double-checked that it landed into my account.

Then I texted my friend who helped me negotiated the amount.

“I got the check. It’s done. It’s finally done.”

Like a quarterback, I sandwiched my bedsheet that I forgot to remove earlier with me towards my friends’ apartment.

The husband had already loaded and unloaded the rest of my junk into their lovely apartment, the place I would stay for the next month… He slipped off the staircase earlier when we were loading. And yet, all he needed from me was “Are you okay?”

Who said Americans sue people to death?

The lovely couple charged me nothing for the month accommodation for this prime location.

The husband is making us dinner now.

The wife is helping me with some eBay shit I’m selling.

Angels, after Angels in this City of Angels.

I’m warming towards this city I’ve begrudged for the last three years. Why now, when I’m leaving.

When I get beaten the shit out by life, I scream, “Why (the fuck) always me?”

When I get lucky, I never ask the same question… until now.

Yeah, why always me?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll join the Michelin Star Chef into their open kitchen and observe “how sausages are made.”

 

Yours truly,
YZ

Great view from the balcony on Wilshire Blvd
Great view from the balcony on Wilshire Blvd