Designing electronic systems and writing are very similar. You take a concept that exists only in your mind, then you put together the peices, and finally you have something that amuses, entertains, or improves people's lives. How could anybody want more.
Yes, its fun to win, but losing makes you work harder. I have entered photography contests, and lost. I have bid on contracts, and lost. I have applied for jobs, and lost. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
My greatest wins have been to have a circuit or system work and then to receive compliments from happy customers. There are no prizes or accolades, but the accomplishment makes it all worthwhile.
I try to look upon these experiences as adventures! How many people pay good money to cross a river at some exotic places?
I have submitted a few stories to Design News Sherlock Ohms, but they are strictly technical and not as much fun as my Frankenstein story. Most of my stories are about my life experiences or are short fictions.
My unpublished and virtually unread novel is an anthology. One of the characters is a writer and two of them are engineers. I got to expound my love of writing and of engineering. Another character is a teacher which is a profession that I never persued.
My latest receiver design is being tested by some groups that do work for the blind. I hope they like it and I hope that I can get it into production in the near future.
"I have had some rough times...." Rougher than walking thru an icy river to repair transmitters in the middle of the night? That sounds baaad...
I also entered and thought one of my stories was quite good.... but yours is the one I'd have picked. So I'm glad it went to someone deserving and appreciative. Well done! And good luck with the other awards, I am sure they are equally merited!
And if you have done more writing in this field, I and I am sure others would love to hear more of your stories - get hold of Caleb or Karen Field and see if they can fit them in here somewhere.