Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Indie Life - My Big Fish Story

Before I was married with kids, I went deep sea fishing from time to time. Charter boats leave the sponge docks of Tarpon Springs daily, and like my dad always says, even if you don't catch anything, it's still a nice day out on the water.

This one time I went with my dad and uncle and we bought regular bait fish--the good kind that catch the keepers. I'm no expert fisherman, but I grew up on a lake that we fished in all the time, so I was no stranger to baiting a hook either.

Still, deep sea fishing is quite a bit different than bass fishing in a lake. But the basics are there. So there I was--around 25 years old and one of very few females on the boat--and started baiting my hook with the frozen sardine. The first mate was walking by and he stopped and watched me, which I ignored.

Finally, he said, "Here, let me do that for you." And he reached for my bait and hook.

Now, I knew this guy was a pro--an expert fisherman for sure. This guy went out on the water daily, and probably caught more fish than my dad and me combined in our entire lives. So the easier, smarter thing to do was let this guy bait my hook for me.

Ah, but I'm such a rebel. I wanted to do it myself. I've never been the kind of female that needed guys to do things for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a feminist don't-you-dare-open-the-door-for-me kind of girl either. But I really enjoy figuring things out and doing them on my own. It's gratifying.

I might add, that so far, no one on the boat had caught anything worth keeping that day, except this first mate. I knew, because there's always a pool for the biggest fish caught of the day, and so far, this guy was the only contender. So if I let him bait my hook, maybe I'd catch the biggest fish and win the pool.

I turned away from the guy and told him no. He insisted he should at least show me how to bait it right, and again I told him no.

"I can do it," I said. "My way."

He looked at me like I was crazy. Of course my dad and uncle just laughed because they already knew this guy would never win.

So I baited my hook like I wanted it, and cast my line in that deep blue water. Within minutes I had something. Something big. After ten minutes of struggling and fighting, of which I accepted no help with, I pulled up a huge red grouper. Oh man, what a great feeling that was. It ended up being the second largest catch of the day, beaten out only by that same first mate.

My dad and I still talk about that day and how great it was that I caught that fish on my own. As an indie author, I'm feeling a lot like that. I didn't go with the pros, I chose to try it on my own, and maybe I'll catch something awesome, or maybe not, but trusting my instincts and making my own choices feels great. Overwhelming, and scary, but great. Just like pulling in my own fish.

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Do you have a big fish story? I promise mine is true. :) Share it with me in the comments!


24 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I don't have a big fish story, but I do like to do things on my own too. It's good to know how to do things and not have to rely on someone else.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No fish story from me. Never was much of a fisherman. But cool you vindicated yourself with a big fish. Sometimes we have to trust ourselves and go for it.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

No fish story, but I do have a hard time asking for help or accepting help. It's partly wanting to be independent, and partly not wanting to obligate other people.

Barbara Watson said...

I've enjoyed following your journey and look forward to what's to come.

SC Author said...

That's such a great story. I'm still smiling :) Good luck with everything your journey gives you and I hope you catch another big fish!!

Karen Walker said...

Oh I love love love this big fish story, Pk. I would have loved to have had just a teensy bit of the confidence it sounds like you have.

Julie Flanders said...

What a great analogy! Love it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

There's such a feeling of accomplishment when we can do something on our own.

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

The few times I went fishing, I was too young to remember anything more than the most dramatic, like my older brother getting a hook in the finger.

Andrew Leon said...

I've never been out in a boat to fish, but, one of the biggest fish I ever caught, I lost because someone tried to help me get it out of the water without asking me first. I was so mad. I was probably 10 or so.

Robin said...

This is a great story. We always feel better when we succeed or fail on our own. Now, I find nothing wrong with accepting help when I feel I need it. Or maybe allowing someone to show me how to do something so that I can decide if I want to do it that way or try my own thing. Independence is a great thinking. This also is a classic example of how there is victory in simply thinking and doing for yourself. Loved this post.

As for your critiquing... do you accept WIP or only finished novels?

Norma Beishir said...

The one and only time I went fishing, I was three years old. It was an extended family event, and Mom said I was upset with my dad because he wouldn't let me walk the fish he caught on a leash....

Elizabeth Seckman said...

What a great story! Today is the day to feel inspired.
(I hope you get an amazingly big catch in the literary waters too!)

LD Masterson said...

Love your story. I have a problem trying to fish. I'm always rooting for the fish to get away.

shelly said...

When daughter no. 4 was two she caught a flounder her first time out. She named it Sarah and had us put it in our saltwater tank at home.

Susanne Drazic said...

Great story. Nothing wrong with doing it your way. : )

jamieayres.com said...

Oh my gosh, I LOVE this story :-) I think getting publishing. (period) is a big fish story. Either way you go, it's a lot of work, lots more than I ever imagined!

erica and christy said...

I have no big fish story. I only wanted to fish if someone else would put the worm on for me and take the fish off for me. Yup. I'm one of those. Good for you though! I'm loving the indie author posts. Very much considering the business. Thanks for posting! Christy

Lexa Cain said...

That's a great fish story, PK. I'm not surprised that you're very independent. It's great that you caught the grouper and great that you self-pubbed! Just remember that unlike pubbing, it wasn't your first fishing trip. You'd done it before. So succeeding at pubbing (self or otherwise) may take a few tries before you catch something big. Keep going! :)

Beth said...

Good luck Pk

Carrie-Anne said...

I don't think I have a big fish story, though it's nice to be able to succeed on your own. I'm hoping to start indie publishing this year, after realising the querying rat race isn't who I am and isn't a good match for my writing style.

David List said...

Awesome story. And one I needed to read, being new to this indie thing. It's about freedom. And that's something no Big 5 can give you with any amount of an advance. I'd rather be overwhelmed, scared and free to sink or swim on my own.

As soon as I read, "Here, let me do that for you," I knew where the story was going. My wife is exactly the same way... especially with cooking, despite that I have a bit more mastery of all things kitchen than her. Her cooking story isn't always as successful as your fishing story, however. Not by far :)

William Kendall said...

Good story, PK!

No fishing story out of me either... I never cared for it.

My idiot ex-brother-in-law loves it. I've often wished a fish would drag him under. For an hour or two.

Kelly Steel said...

Great story and all the best for future PK!