This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : networking

The art of perseverance: don’t forget your network

“Perseverance” is one of those long, solemn-sounding words that invokes an elderly person encouraging you to rake the lawn. We’re told that perseverance will get you through anything — persevere and you will overcome obstacles. “Persevere” is the know-it-all brother to “don’t give up.”

If you couldn’t tell so far, I have a touchy relationship with the concept of perseverance, even though it has pulled me through some tough times. My issue is the implication that it’s something you do alone, as if you got an extra merit badge for struggling through something in isolation.

My BFF Rose Hernandez is part of my perseverance network

“On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Slaying the dragon of delay is no sport for the short-winded.” – Sandra Day O’Connor

“The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the promptings of a brave, determined spirit.” – Mark Twain

What do the quotes you just read have in common? All of them are awesome but none of them talk about the importance of having supportive people in your life as a key to successful perseverance. I call bullshit on that.

For me, perseverance is something you do best with the support of a network and building a “perseverance network” into your life is much easier than you think.

Science has proven that “chronic over-secretion of stress hormones adversely affects brain function, especially memory. Too much cortisol can prevent the brain from laying down a new memory, or from accessing already existing memories.” What this means is that when you’re stressed — the time when you really need to persevere — it can actually be pretty frackin’ hard to succeed at persevering. If you’re having trouble recalling a time when you persevered for inspiration or comfort, or if you’re struggling with processing your own thoughts, persevering can seem like the most unattainable thing in the word. Enter your network to tag team into your stream of churning thoughts and help you make some sense of it.

Who is this network? In my case, it’s a combination of IRL and online friends. If I’m struggling with a problem (and depending on the urgency to solve it), I’ll focus my energy on making a list of five people to approach who can share some insight into the situation. It’s far easier and more productive to think of five friends, peers or acquaintances who can help me than to agonize over the same string of thoughts with no end result in sight.

You don’t have to go through it alone…

Try it some time: when you are under the gun and feeling stressed out about a problem and you MUST persevere, take ten minutes to make a list of the five people in your life you’ll approach to discuss the situation. Don’t worry about if they’ll respond or not — focus your energy on determining five people. Sometimes the one who is able to help you pull through is the last person you thought would be the one to assist you.

Perseverance assistance comes in many forms. It can be a quick phone call, gchat or private Twitter DM. It can be coffee with a friend, a call to your mother or a thread in a forum you initiate.

Don’t think for one second that you have to persevere on your own. Don’t let excuses such as “it’s confidential information so I can’t talk to anyone about it” keep you from asking general questions that can illicit feedback from your peers. And in the random instance that you have absolutely no one to turn to who you know IRL, don’t let that stop you from reaching out to people you admire online. You never know what could happen.

Perseverance is an act best completed through interdependence. Try it.

If you’ve used online resources to help yourself persevere through a tough situation, please share them in the comments.

Advice For Journalism Students, Pt 1: How To Transform Your Online Presence Into A Change Agent & ‘Get A Job’

In honor of Internet Week New York and the resulting bevy of resources, I’ve decided to contribute some of my own.

A while back, Gawker posted a snarky list of job opportunities for J-School grads. I enjoy this site and I’m all for snark, but considering the dismal economic climate I felt the tone was unnecessarily cruel.

Additionally, Gawker Media employees are no strangers to layoffs. It’s not a big leap to suggest that – in the very near future – one of them could be in the position of calling a J-School student “boss.”

Journalism Students(image via berbercarpet’s flickr)

Recent college grads were raised on technology. Media savvy millennials eat it for breakfast.

Once a J-School grad does find a job, it’s possible that he or she could be your fiercest competition.

As one who loves sci-fi, conspiracy theories and blowing through glass ceilings, I am here to share some knowledge. 🙂

Don’t give up. There’s always a way.

Here is Part 1 in a series of unscheduled/strictly-when-I-feel-up-to-it posts that will feature ways J-School grads could find a job, despite what haters have to say.

These suggestions could be helpful to anyone seeking a position related to writing/reporting.


Despite the promising title of my post, these “steps” aren’t quick fixes and require long-term efforts. I am not offering a turnkey method for success. Some things I suggest won’t work for you, for a variety of reasons. So, take my suggestions with a grain of salt and add them to your arsenal of job hunting resources. Don’t be discouraged because you don’t see immediate results.

Who am I to offer advice? I’m me, a freelance O.G. (currently rocking a staff position with MTV News) who has experience in both traditional and new media.

I am also friends with many folks who were laid off, as well as graduating students now facing the daunting task of securing a j-o-b. I listen to their stories and learn from their successes and failures.

In this post, I will touch on ways to grow your audience and build community, even though my own site barely does any traffic. Truthfully, I didn’t create The Lair to make money. I don’t actively work on building an enormous readership. I know how to do both of these things, but don’t, because they aren’t motivations for me. Just because I don’t consistently apply SEO/brand management strategies to my own site and online presence, doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am talking about.

What I do on the web works for me – when it doesn’t work, I change it.

Considering the above factors, you might decide to question my authority on this topic and choose not to read the rest of this post. Well, this is my way of giving back. Take it or leave it.

Future posts will include interviews with employed and unemployed journalists/writers/reporters/media professionals who can offer their own thoughts and advice. I’m very slowly reaching out to folks and will eventually post some Q&As.

Ready, all three of you (statistically)? Here we go!

Pt 1: How To Transform Your Online Presence Into A Change Agent & Get A Job (more…)