That’s a writing motto I picked up when I went back to school: “Fail better.” The idea is that as a writer, you’re always going to think you’re failing—first world problems—so the best you can hope for is to fail better than you did the last time. You’re never going to get to where you want to be, but if at least you can fail incrementally better each time, then you’re okay.

As someone who fails the way most people take oxygen into their lungs and expel carbon dioxide, I like the notion of “failing better.” Seems like a way of acknowledging your hang-ups and working with them, rather than trying to trick yourself into believing they don’t exist. For example, I’ve already failed at this column’s pacing. Get to the fucking point already.

The fucking point is that last week, we cut off 400 words of a Call Me No One interview. Now, that kind of shit is going to happen. On a personal level, though you’d never know it to look at me, I’m spread the thinnest I’ve ever been. I’ve worked late almost every night for the last four weeks (“late” being defined as 7 p.m. or later) and even this very piece you’re reading was written off-hours. It’s Sunday, and I spent this afternoon working. It’s not all Aquarian stuff—one does not make a living on the music industry alone—but it’s all work and it’s all pretty draining.

As the Managing Editor, or the Editor-In-Chief or whatever it is I’m calling myself in the staff box these days (someone please remind me to change it to “Beardo In Residence”), the buck stops with me. Fact is, last Monday as the issue was going to press and I was supposed to be looking over the pages, my head was elsewhere. After a while, you just don’t have eyes anymore, and then something stupid happens and reminds you why you need to have eyes. I’ve been through it more times than I can count.

I’d probably let it go at that—you have to, after a while, because once something is in print, you can’t change it and it’s a pretty easy way to drive yourself up a wall—but the fact is this was someone’s first interview. Alessandra Donnelly, who came aboard as one of the editorial department’s several interns not too long ago, set up the piece herself through connections at Architekt Music in Butler, turned the feature in on time and did what I thought was a good job with it. I don’t remember what my first Q&A was for this paper, but I know I failed at it. This seemed like a success to me as I looked through the raw copy.

Maybe she’ll remember it down the line and maybe she won’t, that her first interview had a third of its copy unceremoniously left out, and that it was her jerk of an editor’s fault for not realizing the page where it should have been had an ad for whatever show it was. Probably not. I’d like to hope that Ms. Donnelly’s life, whatever career path she might ultimately pursue, be it in this industry or otherwise, is fulfilling enough that it won’t even make the footnotes of her autobiography, but still, for someone’s first Buzz, I feel like a jackass and rightly so.

So, to Ms. Donnelly, I apologize for my professional negligence, and to anyone who may have seen the feature in print and looked for the rest, sorry to you as well. You’ll find the “extra” copy in this issue, and the whole thing is online at this point, so you can read it at theaquarian.com too if you’re so inclined. Finally, a purpose for the internet.

And moreover, I’ll take this as a reminder to renew my commitment to more carefully examining the issues before they go to press, starting with this one, in hopes of failing just a little bit better this week.

Thanks for reading.

JJ Koczan

jj@theaquarian.com

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