At the beginning of every month, as part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, I take a look at my successes (not just in writing), share the ways I hope to improve in the next month, answer the IWSG question of the month, and provide inspiration (if I have any).

January Goals
Read two books.
Finish DC planning.
Finish Hawai'i planning.
Use my book of writing prompts at least once this month.
Move images from Canada trip to backup drive and clear out the phone.

Additional Successes –
✓ Grew Twitter following by over 100!

✓ Attended the Women's March in D.C.
✓ And stuck up for my brother when he was defending the march against my family. (I usually lay low on social media, so it was kind of a big deal for me to stick my foot in there with an opinion.)
✓ Then went to a second march after the immigration ban.
✓ Spent time with family at a Baptism celebration.
✓ Continued working on my 101 in 1001 list.
✓ Became more involved in politics. (Be the change you wish to see in the world?)
✓ Got camera cleaned in anticipation of Hawai'i trip.

February Goals –
• Read a book.
• Finish getting through Hawai'i travel guides.
• Complete Hawai'i planning.
• Blog ahead.

IWSG Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

I'm not sure that being a writer has changed my experience as a reader, or at least not as far a fiction goes.

I have noticed that when I email friends, sometimes their response emails capture the same tone of voice I use when I email them; I think that's pretty cool. And, to be honest, it can be a little annoying too. Like: have your own voice, please! My voice is already taken! :)

Also, when I'm choosing what to read, I'm more likely to pick books to help me with my craft: how to write better or a book of writing prompts, for example.

I wish that I could say that I've picked up on specific technics through reading others' works, but I just haven't. :( I feel a little dense when it comes to doing things like that. Like, and this may be a bad example, but when Donald Trump provides an emotional phrase at the end of his tweets and tells his audience how to feel about what he's said? I mean – who knew? Who paid enough attention to his twitter feed, specifically, to come to that conclusion? And was there a study actually indicating that if you tell someone how to feel, they will? Is that really a thing? (I believe it is, because of marketing, but still?!)

I truly wish that I could say that every time I read something new I am able to pick up on tiny quirks that make a writer's work good or sellable. I wish I knew why I liked certain types of writing over others. I wish I knew how to make people "feel" what I am sharing. More or less, I just wish I was better at picking up on little things.

Your Turn

What goals did you accomplish this January? Are there things you intended on doing this past month, but simply didn't have the energy or time to do them? Are you happy with Trump's inauguration or has it spurred you to become more politically involved? How does being a writer (even if you aren't an author or blogger) make you think differently about what you read?

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