I read a lot of newsletters. I mean, a LOT of newsletters. Some are to help me write better, some are about the publishing field in general, some give me lists of potential markets, and some are about marketing.
Unfortunately, when I had my knee replaced this summer, I got behind in that reading. Since then, I have slowly been catching up.
The good thing about being behind is that I can get through them a little faster. Whenever I see a list of classes, I don't check the titles to see if I want to take them, I check the start date. If the classes have already started, I skip the entire list. When I see a contest listed as a potential market, I scan for the deadline. If it's passed, or only a few days in the future, I haven't got a chance of making it, so I skip reading the rules.
The bad thing about being behind is that I miss a lot of opportunities; that class that might have been perfect for me, a contest that was right up my alley. I also feel a bit rushed, because I'm trying to catch up. Is everything I'm reading out of date?
Nope. The information on writing better is still applicable. The insights into the publishing field are still there, can still teach me about How Things Work, rather than me being completely in the dark. These are the Shiney Bits, the reason why I read these newsletters. And I look forward to the day when I catch up and can find even more Shiney Bits in the form of a class to take, a new market to try, a contest I have time to enter.
How about you? Do you find the Shiney Bits in your life before you throw out the dregs you don't want or can't use?