Monday, April 4, 2011

Babbling About Writing Confidence

Sometimes I like it when days go by fast, but other times I really don’t. Today went by really fast, and I got little to nothing done. I did get my exercise in, both strength training and my elliptical. But that’s about it. I really don’t know where the time went. It’s only 3:00 PM, so I still have a few hours left to get things done, but I’m at the point where I really don’t want to. Tomorrow is a new day, and I will get things accomplished. I’m sure the next time I look at the clock it will say 7:00 PM, and I’ll wonder how it got to be that late.

To help me stay on task and be more productive, I’ve been using Window’s 7 “sticky note” feature. I use that as my daily to do list. For the most part, it’s been working well. The only thing I seem to be procrastinating on is writing. I’ve got plenty of things to write, but I put it off for some reason.

In this instance, I’m talking about Demand Media Studios (DMS). This is a site where you can pick and choose what you want to write. You don’t have a particular client that is relying on you (like TextBroker does). You can pick up to 10 articles, and you have 7 days to write it and turn it in. You can “unclaim” the article and “reclaim” it twice. I find myself doing this a lot.

It all comes down to confidence in writing. With DMS, when you submit an article, it goes to an editor. They check your work and make notes on errors or inconsistencies. If you get an article sent back, you have one shot at making the corrections. You have no contact with the editor so you can’t get clarifications. So, you send back the article, and hope it doesn’t get rejected. I’ve had several articles sent back (that’s not a very good feeling by the way), and for the most part, the editor’s instructions are clear.

A few weeks ago, I sent in four articles. Three got sent back. I was not pleased. I don’t know what the deal was, but I got some crappy editors this time around. I had very vague notations for one, one seemed to be very snooty and condescending (I’ve heard of these at this site, but never have encountered them), and the third was just fine. I made the changes for the article with the clearest notations. I made the changes for the vague notations, and hoped for the best (it got accepted), and the last, I let go entirely. You are allowed to let articles lapse after you get them sent back for edits, it’s just a good thing to not let it become habit. So far, I have never had an article get rejected (knock on wood). I was pretty concerned with the vague instructions for the one, but it turned out OK.

When your confidence takes a hit like that, whether it be from a physical aspect or otherwise, it’s hard to bounce back from. I think that’s why I’ve been procrastinating lately with writing articles. I’ve got plenty to write, I just need to suck it up and go for it. If I get articles sent back, I need to learn it’s not the end of the world. It happens. I don’t proofread my blog posts much, and I’m sure there are a ton of grammatical errors, but I do re-check my DMS articles before sending them in. Some editors just like to nit pick you to death.

Get back on the horse and ride. That’s what I need to do. I sit and stew too much sometimes. I end up worrying and not getting anything done. I need to stop that, and just do it. I can say the same thing about my walker usage. I’ve not done that for a long time. Fear of the unknown can play some nasty mind games if you let it, and I have been letting it. No more. It needs to stop.

Obviously, I needed to get some things out there. It helps to do that sometimes, even if it is just writing it down for myself (and those few people who read this).

So, yes, I did my mile, and it went well today. My foot is still achy, so I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow. I’ll probably take tomorrow off and used my bean bag heating pads. And yes, I will write tomorrow. I will write like the wind. I’m still looking for that “off” switch for my mind.

Here’s the picture of the day from the Virtual Walk site. Mile 255.4



Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab

Didn’t mean to babble, but it happens sometimes.

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