Yeah, great advice. SKCC activities are lots of fun and have been instrumental in my learning cw op. I’m a few contacts away from my C (100 unique SKCC contacts).
One problem I did run into was transitioning back and forth from a straight key (home op) to a paddle and keyer (SOTA). I am sure this comes naturally at some point, but as a newb it was a problem. Since I used a straight key more often, it was my activations that suffered. I finally enacted a solution a few weeks back: I bought a snazzy vibroplex lightning bug. It’s not quite the same as a paddle/keyer obviously, but it’s much closer. I’ve done two activations since I switched over to it and it seems to have completely solved the problem.