Fish Tale #2 – Dealing With Success and Failure

It’s been a long week here at wherever I am, and there’s a few things I need to catch you guys up to speed on.

My beloved betta fish Hemingway has unfortunately passed away. Like Ernest Hemingway, Hemmy (as I so dearly referred to him) survived several brushes with death (though none of them involved plane crashes or blood poisoning). But eventually his swim bladder disease got the best of him and I was forced to bid adieu to my grumpy-faced fishy friend.

Swim in peace, Hemmy

Swim in peace, Hemmy

Naturally, I blamed myself for his death. Did I do something wrong when I changed his water? Should I have acted sooner when I noticed he was looking a  bit sluggish? Whether his untimely death was a result of my actions (or in-actions), I am uncertain. But I know that I felt deeply responsible.

I mourned. And after a few weeks, I worked up the courage to try again and bought myself a new fish.

Everyone, meet DaVinci.

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He’s a delta tail Betta. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get a picture of him with his fins completely spread out (they’re huge), but this is a little sneak peak of what he looks like. It’s odd having him around instead of Hemmy, and sometimes I even catch myself calling him by the wrong name. But the point is, moving on from your failures doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting what happened. It’s attempting to accept what you did wrong, mourn, learn, and try again.

And this doesn’t just apply to fish. These are life lessons here, people.

Another update: I finally found a job.

After weeks of searching for jobs, filling out applications, and waiting around to never get called back, I finally had some luck with a local newspaper, where I now work as a copy editor and opinion columnist. Huzzah! Success!

So how does one handle success after endless failures? Naturally, I somehow get myself sick and spent my first day at the copy desk trying not to horrify everyone with my violent nose blowing. But despite that, I really quite enjoyed myself and I know I’m going to appreciate every ounce of experience I can squeeze from this job. So although this one seemed like a bit of a failure, I’m taking it as a sinus good things to come.

How to deal with success: Just try not to blow it.

Ah, sick puns.

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Quote #12

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

Getting Started in the Writing World – Part 1

I’m sure many of my fellow aspiring authors and writers out there have been wondering about the same things I have when it comes to their writing careers – namely, where do I begin?

Honestly, I don’t know if there’s a right answer. The advice I’m about to give you might not even be what works for you, but I think it’s a good place to start.

Recently, I was browsing the Writer’s Bible (A.K.A. Poets & Writers magazine) and I stumbled across a listing of writing jobs. And one of the jobs listed, though not a “job” per se, caught my eye. I read through the description of the job a few times and mulled over whether or not I should apply:

It’s not a paying internship. Strike one.

But, it would be a great opportunity to get my name in print and some experience on my resume.

Plus, contacts. Nothing means more to a writer trying to get published than making some friends in the publishing industry.

I’ve already got a few things on my plate right now. Strike two. Will I have the time for this?

Heck. Why not?

I applied.

And though it took me a few hours to perfect a sloppy resume (if anyone needs help making a professional resume, I am now your girl) and write an engaging and convincing cover letter, it was well worth the time.

Why, do you ask?

Well, I submitted my application a few days ago and have already received confirmation of my progress into the next level of the application – a request for writing samples.

Clearly, I made at least a small impression on the minds of the people at this magazine (which, for now, shall remain unnamed) and am moving forward into the next stage of writerdom.

I’ll keep you all updated as soon as I hear back from them again (it will be posted under Getting Started in the Writing World – Part 2).

My advice for now? Look for a way to get your foot in the door. What is it that you want to do? Publish a book? Try applying at a literary magazine. Work as a publishing editor? Try getting an internship at a well-known company. Read writing magazines and journals, and read them every day so that you can keep up with more recent news like posted writing jobs. Do something. Be active in your life.

We’re finally getting somewhere, guys.