Hi, I’m Alice (ah-leece). This is a Wednesday bi-weekly newsletter to help you take advantage of the internet, one idea at a time. Don’t hesitate to reach out if something piques your interest.
On Friday I went up to Narrowsburg, NY, to say goodbye to a slice of my childhood.
For 15 years, my family owned a small country house. It’s a home with many fond memories, since it's where I maturated out of the awkward prepubescent stage.
I remember listening to Taylor Swift’s Fearless while daydreaming about my pitiful imminent romances, BBQs with loaded potatoes and baby back ribs, and spraining my ankle while running around in Crocs (honestly, I deserved it).
My parents sold the house, and I decided to visit this weekend one last time with my best friends. In between sips of wine and drinking card games, I escaped upstairs and laid on my childhood bed. I’ll really miss this.
I’ve been entering a transition of change. Aside from Narrowsburg, my boyfriend also moved out of his apartment. For nearly two years, we hibernated there during the pandemic, spending our nights cooking jajangmyeon and sipping Sapporo.
It’s gone now, and while it’s disheartening, change is something to embrace. As author Ryan Holiday puts it:
It’s comforting to know every single good thing is a result of change. It’s how you fell in love, met your beloved pet, or found your best friends. Heck, it’s why you even exist right now!
Life continues to go on, and change is its infallible partner. You might as well embrace her, because she brings more good to your life than you might like to recognize.
So with that, my question for you is,
“If there's change happening in your life, can you think about at least one good thing that’s come from it?”
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
This Week: How to Prioritize Your Creations Over Client Work
Last week, I went on two podcasts that both asked me the same question:
"How are you able to keep creating when you’re dealing with client work?"
On any given week, I’m juggling about 2-4 articles for clients, all while trying to ship my newsletter and stick to my one-tweet-a-day rule. It’s happened where I couldn’t keep my ahead above water and had to forgo my own writing.
If you’re a creator, you’re almost certainly dealing with a similar conundrum. To overcome this, I would suggest you make it personal.
Here’s what I mean. If you’re making a decision to discard your personal creations to prioritize client work, understand what that really means. I’ll spell it out for you:
You are voluntarily putting someone else’s agenda and priorities over your own.
Read that again. Does it make you upset?
It’s about using frustration and anger to motivate you to put yourself first. You’re a human being, and your ego is largely unavoidable – you might as well use it to your advantage.
As Naval once said, “No one will value you more than you.”
Recognize that prioritizing your creative agenda is a version of self-care, and don't let anyone else's priorities get in the way.
🥒 Content Diet
📕 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson — Published in 2005, this fast-paced thriller is an addictive read. It's over 600 pages long, but its intelligent writing and mysterious storyline makes any reader voracious.
🚢 How JK Molina Built a 6-Figure Business Ghostwriting Tweets by The Digital Writing Podcast – JK Molina’s unabashed confidence is ridiculously inspiring. In this podcast, you’ll learn some juicy pricing techniques while opening your eyes to the possibilities available in the digital writing world.
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: How to Say No After You Said Yes
Imagine you’ve been chatting to a potential client for awhile.
You get on a call, discuss pricing, send out a project proposal, and sign a contract. Everything is looking amazing, until you realize…that you can’t actually can't take on the project. It’s a rookie move, but it happens to everyone — including me.
I realized on Monday I had horrendously overbooked myself. There was no way I could work with this new client anytime soon, even though I'd already promised an article by next week.
It's a cringe scenario, but it happens. The best way to handle it is with frank and direct communication. Here’s the email I sent — please feel free to use it if you find yourself in a similar situation:
I hope you're doing well!
I’m emailing you with an unfortunate update. I’ve realized that I’ve overbooked myself, and sadly, don’t have the bandwidth to submit the (Deliverable) in time for our originally agreed due date (Date/Month).
I apologize for this inconvenience. It was difficult to come to this conclusion, but it only makes sense to collaborate when there’s enough bandwidth to deliver a thorough and well-researched piece.
I won’t have further availability until the earliest (Month). If it’s alright with you, I can reach out then to see if you have any content needs. Until then, I am also more than happy to connect you to my circle of talented freelance writers, who might be able to help with building out (Their Blog Name).
I'm here to help however I can. I apologize again for this update — I’m still learning to not bite off more than I can chew.
Notice how toward the end of the email, you're still offering solutions to their problem while maintaining the relationship. It's all about creating a "No" sandwich, where you start off with polite news, deliver the bad, then offer helpful suggestions.
The client ended up understanding and requesting I message them in July. Phew. Crisis averted.
That's it this week, folks.
I'm making Internetly a bi-weekly Wednesday newsletter. With more time in between volumes, I'll be able to (hopefully) create more thoughtful and information-rich stuff.
I hope you have a beautiful week, wherever you are!