“The whole thing makes me question whether my writing has gotten worse or if the expectations have increased.” Or… any number of other things changed. I feel you on this whole article, as I’ve had the same exact experience as you describe in your opening paragraphs. A couple of pubs used to publish almost anything I’d send their way, and now they won’t give me the time of day (and, for *better* stuff, sometimes). I expect this could be especially frustrating for those trying to make $$$ blogging here, as there’s just no solid path to curation or acceptance in pubs (even if you article deserves both). For me, I just like to write. So, when I get snubbed, I just shrug it off as best I can & publish it myself (and, of course, then no one reads it. lol… but at least it’s online & I can move on). I also don’t like the lag that you mention, which is probably why I self-published my novel. I think patience is probably a good quality for a writer to have, and it can be ultra-frustrating for those of us who like to get things done & move on to the next project/article/whatever quickly. Hang in there, though!