This, That, and the Other Thing

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to limit my social media access. I took the apps off my smartphone and my tablet. I can still log in by typing in my password, and I check things out about once a day or so. But I’m definitely logging on less often since I actually have to remember the password to do so.

I’m getting more reading done, which is good. I’m also getting some writing done, which is fantastic. I’m going to try to keep the social media apps off my devices. It’s too easy to log on “for just a second” and lose twenty or thirty minutes of writing or reading time.

Plus, I’m not wallowing in the political bullshit this way. Yes, I still get breaking news alerts on my phone and daily emails about key developments. But I’m not getting fed a steady diet of outrage and wild speculation from social media. I’m feeling calmer, more focused, and better able to decide which issues most need my attention and phone calls to my elected officials.

Rejections and some feedback are slowly trickling in from various contests and journals. I’m trying to remember that even experienced writers with multiple books to their credit still get more rejections than acceptances.

On the rare occasion feedback is included, I take several minutes to re-read my submission and view it through that editor’s perspective. I don’t always agree with their suggestions, but I try to use the information to figure out how to make that story stronger. And, I think about which other works I have that might better fit that editor’s vision for their journal. That isn’t always easy to do, but I know that’s what I must do to improve as a writer.

There’s a contest deadline of October 1st that I’m trying to meet. I’m leaving it a bit late to write a new piece specifically for that contest, but I have an idea that I think might work. It’s a good bit different than other stories I’ve written, and I’m not sure it will come together in the way I hope it will. But it’s a challenge to write, and that has me excited.

I’m taking another Writers Studio class starting in October. I hope it will challenge me to produce better work. I’ve felt for a bit that my skills are getting a bit stale.

Writing isn’t something that I think I’ll ever master. I’ll always have something I can work to improve. If I think “Hey, I’m getting good at this,” then I’m probably writing something that won’t be very good. I think I’m a better writer when I doubt I have the skills to complete the piece I’m writing. That’s when I know I’m growing.

Jen finally talked me into watching “Game of Thrones.” I read a couple of the books but struggled with the series. I wasn’t a fan of so many unlovable characters, plus Martin’s treatment of women was hard to stomach. We’re just starting season two, and it’s pretty good so far. We’ll see if I finish it.

This week’s blog photo is a snow leopard. No particular reason for it; I just like cats. And snow leopards are truly beautiful. It’s a shame that their numbers are so low.

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