Small stuff. We’re advised not to sweat the small stuff and there’s a lot of wisdom in that, except, of course, when there isn’t.
Here’s what I mean:
Back in the day, when computers were only marginally better than typewriters, a man rushed into the computer store where I was working. He was irate, waving a copy of Writer’s Market open to a page which suggested the correct margins for manuscripts. Back then word processing software mostly didn’t give you many or any options about margins, and in this case, none of them were exactly what Writer’s Market suggested. I couldn’t convince him that what he needed to do was work on his writing and not worry about manuscript margins because no editor was measuring margins on over the transom submissions. He was convinced the exact margins would increase his chances of getting published immeasurably.
This is exactly the sort of small stuff a freelance writer should ignore. The pages need to look good, be ragged right, double spaced and with no surprises. That’s it! It doesn’t really matter where the page numbers fall, or if your contact information is on the right or the left. Unless, of course, if you’re doing academic writing. Not that I know for sure, but I understand even the unimportant minutia is considered important.
It’s the small stuff of writing you need to sweat
Although that subhead can be misleading. There probably isn’t a rule of grammar, spelling, or writing structure that can’t be broken and the writing be better for the break. If you go against the grain it’s likely to work if you’ve got a solid reason to shatter or bend convention.
No, the kind of small stuff we writers should sweat comes largely out of carelessness. We rush through a blog post and don’t even see that we’ve used your rather than you’re. An apostrophe is certainly a small thing, with much larger implications. Punctuation is important and not terribly difficult. Even the should I or shouldn’t I add a third comma in a series can be answered by “which way makes it easier to understand?”
When you’re writing the completeness or lack of it matters in thought as it does in sentences – except for dialog. See what I mean about exceptions? Completeness also has something to do with not writing too much or too little. Letting a draft rest awhile and your ear are probably the best guides.
Word choice – important small stuff
Word choice is hugely important, important enough to sweat over indeed. Not only the choice of exactly the right word often critical but so is how it’s used. Issues around regional word use and accents, slang and swear words all require good writers to make a ton of decisions.
Then there’s the whole business of rhythm. Good writing has its own cadence which is wholly determined by the author. It’s done with long and short words, phrases and sentences, and even paragraphs, but there are no rules. Every writer contributes their sense of pace and tempo. It’s learned I think, by both lots of reading and lots of listening to how others speak. Familiarity with music – all sorts of music also plays a part I suspect.
Sorting out small stuff and not so small stuff in writing and language leaves me with even more respect for non-native writers who learn to use our language well and translators who get it write – gasp, I mean right!
If even part of your job is writing it may be quite easy to get your employer to hire you as a freelance writer. It’s one of the very best ways to leave your job to freelance.
Here is an overview of the process, with advantages to both you and your about to be former boss when you leave your job to freelance.
The advantages to you are obvious, including:
You walk away with income flowing in – how much depends on what you negotiate
You’re already familiar with the kind of writing you’ll be doing from (probably) your home office – and what you need to do to keep them satisfied.
In theory you control your own client base and time as well as your income which as a freelancer isn’t limited
Chances are you’ll be able to get more writing done than ever before once you get in the swing of things – working in offices often means constant interruption.
The disadvantages to you are worth thinking about
Uncertain pay days
Varied amounts of pay
No benefits if you have some
No pension or retirement plan if you have one where you work
The lack of structure may cause you some problems
Benefits to your soon-to-be former company
You’re a known quantity – which makes their life easier
If they use you as a freelancer they may not have to hire your replacement, saving them money
You’ll cost them less – no benefits, including health insurance, paid sick and vacation leave, etc. That is assuming you’ve got these
Also, no office space, or parking space. No computer equipment, unless they want you on site part of the time – which may be a disadvantage for you
Thinking about how to leave your job to freelance
When you’re thinking about if and how to leave your job to freelance you need to consider all these points, plus whatever else you want to add. Much depends on your situation.
You can use the above as a list for negotiating the best price to charge your soon to be former company for your writing. You want to cover the cost of any missing benefits if at all possible. On the other hand, you may not be able to get that much and it can still make sense to make the move. Just be sure you understand exactly what to expect.The article, How Should I Charge For Writing? Is Hourly or a Flat Fee Best? may be of real help.
Asking for a retainer is another approach. If you do this be sure you put a limit on how much writing the retainer fee covers.
There are other things to consider
When you are deciding to leave your job to freelance or not, all sorts of things come into play. Your age, your family situation, where you live, how you live – the list goes on.
Consider carefully, but don’t get bogged down in self-doubt or listen to any naysayers. You and your still small voice will know if you should make the leap or not.
Got questions? Want to tell your story? Tell us in comments or join our forum.
Now I want to introduce you to the group I’m currently in. It’s different because the makeup of the group is different. Instead of being aimed at writers, each of the five members has a different sort of business.
I’m, of course the writer and I also do whole life coaching. Carol is an interior designer who also practices Reiki. Frederic is a poet, a photographer and a healer. Claudia is a substantial editor for academics and book writers. And Cait, one of the founding members, is a safety engineer who is part owner of the Aspen Risk Management Group.
Mastermind groups vary widely
Mastermind groups come in a wide variety of purposes and formats. Although I found great value in meeting with other writers, I find even more meeting with a wider variety of folks. In our case each of us is self-employed.
We came together originally because three of us belonged to another type of group and decided we wanted to work a bit more deeply. Since then we’ve invited others and two of them have stuck for quite awhile.
What I’ve noticed over time is that we all have the same basic problems or challenges. The most prevalent is how to successfully market our services. As you can see, some of us have websites, others don’t. Of the two that don’t, one is considering resurrecting an old one and the other has begun defining the kind of site they want.
But marketing isn’t our only topic.
We’ve talked about how to kick our creativity in gear when we find ourselves in a slump. We’ve asked for support for better eating and exercise habits. We’ve consulted with each other about the best software and computer equipment. We’ve comforted each other when there’s been a death in a family and celebrated when new babies are born.
How we organize our group
One of the things that distinguishes Mastermind groups from many other kinds of groups is that each one has a purpose and a format. Our purpose is to “Support each other in our businesses and life.”
We meet in a coffee shop and after we’ve all got our beverages and have settled at our table one of us asks, often me, “Who has wins they want to report?” Someone volunteers to start, and one by one each of us talks briefly about our wins for the week just past – how did we win in business and life. Our shares often include a bit about our success with the things we said we would accomplish the week before. Opening with wins seems to set the positive tone we want.
Another way we differ is that we don’t time our speaking, although if we grow much we may have to.
Next, we open it up
When the wins are complete we open it up. Generally the question is “Who has something they’d like help with?”
One person states a problem, issue or situation they’ve got they’d like to hear suggestions about. We’ve handled everything from how to invoice to how to be sure we actually get the invoices out. Problem clients are often the topic, with solid suggestions made by everyone. Occasionally someone will ask about a personal situation. We allow that because as entrepreneurs who love what we offer the world it’s sometimes impossible to separate the personal from the professional – or that separation feels false.
Sometimes we have time for a second topic, often not.
Before the meeting ends we go around the table one last time and each of us speaks what we want to get done, to be accountable for, in the week to come. Most of us find this truly helpful.
Our agenda looks like this:
It’s simple and it works well for us.
Mastermind groups set their own purpose and agenda. We meet for an hour and a half – others meet for longer or shorter times. Some prefer the more formal atmosphere of a conference room, others like us enjoy coffee shops.
If you’d like to start a Mastermind you can find all sorts of information on the web. Or you could adopt our methods and format and see how they work. My advice is two fold:
Keep it simple
Write well, often and set up your own Mastermind group
Over in our forum someone told of a client who asked “Will you reduce your rate for steady work?” The question, of course, does this sort of request make sense for the writer?
Generally speaking I don’t think it makes sense to reduce your rate for the promise of steady work.
Writing is not like making widgets
The bulk discount is based on the idea that the maker takes less time and effort per item when they are making dozens or hundreds etc. of the item as opposed to making one. Everything a writer writes is original and ideally not like anything else she or anyone else has written.
The only possible exception I can think of is when the subject matter is highly complex and there’s a steep learning curve. It might make sense for the writer to discount their rate a bit after they’ve learned the ropes. After all, they will probably need to spend less time on the writing when they’ve gained needed knowledge. The argument can be made that a small discount might be in order.
Even steady work comes to an end
The promise of steady work, usually in the form of weekly or monthly writing, is tempting. An income that is anything but predictable is probably the biggest downside of freelance writing.
Like all gigs, however, this one will also come to an end. It may end in weeks or months or even years, but it will end. The chances are it will end with little notice. In other words, it’s like a regular job which also can end suddenly.
It is possible sometimes to get the client to sign a contract or letter of intention that they will hire you for X amount of time. But they are unlikely to sign something that will act as a real guarantee to you.
In the long run the promise of steady work is a promise that’s unlikely to be fulfilled even when the client has the best of intentions.
If you do decide to reduce your rate
If you do decide to reduce your rate, reduce it only a little. No more, in my opinion than five percent, and half of that would be better.
Before you make the decision review how you set your rate. If it’s fair, it’s fair with or without steady work from a client. It’s so easy to give away the store as it were because you want to be nice or you’re afraid you’ll loose the client if you don’t meet their request.
While there’s nothing wrong with them asking for a discount it’s also true there is absolutely nothing wrong with you saying no.
What you might say to your client
It can be difficult to re-negotiate a deal downward, which is what the client is asking when they ask you to reduce your rate. That is, if you let it, it can feel like your not on an equal footing. Think about that – they need a writer, you’re the writer they picked.
Don’t be afraid to say something like “since every piece of writing I do is unique I don’t offer discounts.” Or you could ask a question like “what’s happened to change your mind about our pricing?”
If, as I’m suggesting, you do push back, once you make your statement or ask your question, don’t speak again until they do. Let them respond. They may say that the current rate is fine and drop it all together. Or they may tell you why they think they are entitled to or need a discount. If they push hard you have to decide if you’re willing to lose a client or counter with a two percent discount. It’s also okay if they push you to say you need time to think it through and will give them a call later in the week.
There’s no requirement to reduce your rate for steady work.
You love the idea of being a writer, but you’re not sure it’s really for you. Here are 5 signs you really want to be a freelance writer and will probably succeed.
If you really want to be a freelance writer, you probably read a lot. There is some hook, some connection between reading and successful writing. Noteworthy – The Journal Blog lists 14 reasons why this is so. Any one of those reasons is good enough.
Jeff Goins has a different (yet much the same) take in his Why Writers Need to Read if They Want to Be Goodarticle and provides a much more structured approach. Which will work, and in my opinion isn’t required. And he suggests that it isn’t necessary to finish reading what you start to read which I absolutely love because I’ve discovered that myself.
You research how to become a writer
Another one of the signs you really want to be a freelance writer is you spend some serious time researching how freelance writing works. Google up how to become a freelance writer but don’t go into overwhelm. Poke around. Find some advice that appeals to you and follow it for awhile and see how it works. Don’t be afraid to let go of something that isn’t working and beware of those who promise to make it easy. It isn’t.
You long to be in control of your life
If a daily commute and 40+ hours under florescent lights with little if any control over your destiny isn’t for you, freelance writing can be a way out. Please realize that I’ve been freelancing forever and am prejudiced against regular jobs. There is much to be said about the certainty of income and the predictability of a work week. And even with my attitude there are some jobs I might take – you know, the dream job.
If you’re working and want to move to freelance writing there are many things to consider. Think deeply and if at all possible start writing for clients before you make the leap. And for goodness sake, consider how you will replace any benefits you’re currently getting, like health insurance and paid sick leave and a 401k or other retirement.
You actually test the market
There’s really no reason you can’t begin earning income from writing right now. If you’ve got a job or you’re in school, or in some other full or near to full time situation you can, if you want it badly enough, carve out time to write. You can also use the results of your reaseach to begin to submit your writing or start applying for part time remote writing jobs or get serioulsy started on your book. Whatever your writing dream, you can begin it write now even if you only have 5 minutes a day.
Of all the signs you really want to be a freelance writer the most important one is that you write. Actually putting words on paper, or more realistically, the screen is what will let you become a successful freelance writer. Anything else is simply wishful thinking!
Reading about writing isn’t writing. Planning isn’t writing. Talking about writing isn’t writing. Marketing, although it may involve writing isn’t the kind of writing we’re talking about.
Now, each one of those and more is, one way or another, required for running a profitable writing business, however you define that. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s writing.
In today’s competitive environment, one cannot be just a writer, especially when writing content for websites.
Even though I have an SEO team that helps to optimize my content for Google and publishes it, I do try to proactively make everything I write SEO friendly.
Writing an awesome blog isn’t enough nowadays; your awesomeness won’t be discovered if the material doesn’t rank well on and people cannot discover it via organic search. Here are 5 useful tips that each aspiring freelance writer should use to improve their content from the SEO perspective.
Start Your Blog Title With Your Primary Keyword
Seems logical but you will often see writers use words in the title that don’t directly correspond to the topic at hand. If you really want to optimize it put the main keywords in Google and hit search. You will quickly discover what other sites are using in terms of the title to rank for the topic you are writing. Use these results to craft your own title for the blog post.
Leverage The Power of H2 Tags
You may not know what H2 tag is but as a writer you have done outlines where you broke down your content in sections. The main sections of a bigger article are broken down and separated by H2 tags. Again, be creative there with the naming. One or two words section names often won’t provide any context to the search engines. A poor example is “Betting Steps” and a really great example is “How To Place Bets – Step By Step Guide”.
Mention Your Targeted Primary Keyword Naturally
Forget keyword stuffing or having a certain keyword density in your content. These things do not work anymore. Search engines are getting smarter and smarter each day and are able to read your content at a pretty high level of understanding. Place your main keyword naturally where it makes sense and it’s not forced. An excellent trick which will make you stand out from other writers is to start your first paragraph with your primary keyword in the first sentence as seen in this example. (March Madness Betting is the main keyword).
Don’t Forget About LSI Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing keywords are keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword. Contrary to popular belief, they are not just synonym or keywords that are similar in meaning. These keywords are keywords that are contextually related to your primary keyword. Sprinkle them in your content and it will help it rank higher.
(Note: LSI Keywords were new to me too – Google it for a ton of information – aw)
Make Sure Your URLs are user-friendly
If you are writing for a client then she/he may take care of it but being proactive and helping with the URL for your content will get you a few brownie points for sure. To drive my point, let’s see a URL that isn’t user-friendly: xzy.com/2019/02/10/good-news-on-vacation/ vs. one that is: https://www.safestbettingsites.com/esports-betting. You may ask what is the difference here?
The difference, user-friendliness, comes from the ease of remembering the site’s address. Just imagine you want to go back to an article you have seen on a particular site but what if you don’t remember the date as in the first example? Little things like this make a big difference in how your content is discovered.
These are only 5 tips for aspiring writers. There is more on the internet that is worth looking up and applying in the content you write. As I have mentioned above the market is quite competitive and to stand out one needs to provide more value than just great written content.
Joseph Falchetti is the author of the blog, most picks, and the majority of content on Safest Betting Sites. Joe has an extensive background as a writer and gambler of all types. He was a professional poker player and sports bettor for eight years until he decided to make the switch to writing sports gambling content, especially about American football betting, after the Black Friday seizures against PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in April 2011. He has been mentioned in Forbes as a betting analyst and his articles have been linked by several top publications such as the New York Times.
The temp agency sent me to assist a professional association director with correspondence. Across the way, two women—a dietitian and a psychologist, I later learned—were unpacking large suitcases full of printed materials into a little office with a couple of desks. They were hired to travel around the country and conduct workshops under a government contract. I helped them for the next two years, at the end of which the government said it was one of its most successful training contracts.
One day while my two bosses were on the road the executive director came to me and asked if I would look at a couple of forms. Apparently, one of their educators had applied for and received a grant but didn’t know how to fill out the paperwork to get the money to which the nonprofit was entitled. I took a stab at it, got a couple of checks back, and the rest is history.
Emboldened by their successes, the executive director created a department of grants and contracts. Under the tutelage of a very smart man and with the assistance of a secretary, I learned to write successful government grant and contract proposals.
Temping Worked Again in a New City
Fast forward a number of years, during which I had transitioned to other writing-related positions within that nonprofit, ending up as a director, then quitting my well-paying job to move to a friendlier climate. Starting over in a new city, and after a few temp computer-related jobs, I was hired to write grant proposals once again, this time for a small medical device company. After a few years, I’d risen to director, supervising a handful of writers and interns, before moving to a similar position at another nonprofit.
My Last Full-time Position Used All My Skills
Wooed away by an acupuncturist after just a year there, I began working as a writer under another government contract. When the contract ended in two years, I was the only contract staffer able to transition to a permanent position, thanks to my lobbying abilities honed at that first nonprofit and the help of my “rabbi,” someone who appreciated my proposal writing (and who still uses my freelance skills). Five years later, I was able to retire from this large company, having attained senior proposal manager status, which meant that I was able to supervise a virtual team of up to 60 people to obtain contracts in the $100-million-plus range.
Now, I’m a happy freelancer, writing proposals for both grants and contracts. I have also written successful book proposals to editors and business proposals to funders. In my spare time, I write pro bono grant proposals for a local nonprofit.
For those interested in this type of persuasive writing, I would highly recommend training from The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles; its trainers conduct workshops around the country. Those of you who work in nonprofits will also make valuable connections at this training—I’m still in touch with fellow trainees today.
Please send me an invitation to connect with me on LinkedIn. Below are excerpts from what you will read first when you connect:
I’m a persuasive writer who has worn many hats in her professional career–writer, researcher, manager, marketer, trainer, strategist. … As a writer-manager of grant and contract proposals, my win rate—both for freelance clients and for my immediate past employer—averages 75 percent. … How can I be so successful, especially in this competitive environment? Here are some answers:
I put myself in the customer’s shoes.
I firmly believe that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, and I treat my teams accordingly.
I am nothing if not persistent.
I don’t care who gets the credit as long as we win
Most are self-explanatory. Some are not. For example, I’m still not sure what a content strategist really does, although I’ve generated enough content that I feel I should know. Copy Editor and Editor/Proofreader are not, in my opinion, writer job titles. I wouldn’t have included Social Media Specialist, or maybe I would have. Writing tweets, etc. can be important and significant work I suppose.
Some of these titles like Translator, Tech Writer, Grant Writer and Video Game Writer require special skills. Many, even most, however, have significant overlap. And in truth exact job titles rarely mean much.
The real question is can you solve their problem?
A client will hire you only if they believe you can solve their problem. In a very real sense, job titles are an attempt to categorize people’s work roles. They’ve also become ways to assign value to some, with titles like President or CEO, COO, CFO and the like carry much more prestige and usually much higher pay than titles that don’t carry the C suite aura.
‘Writer,’ of course, means you can put words on the screen/page in a way that accomplishes the goals of that particular piece of writing – a great story entertains and informs, copy writing sells a product or service, journalism reports the news while public relations aims to create a favorable impression about a company, a product or a service.
When your credits don’t match the job titles
Although there are exceptions, it seems to me most writers can pretty much handle a wide variety of topics. That often means you’ll find yourself in a position where your actual writing credits don’t exact the job titles of the job you’re considering applying for.
My advice? If you think you understand the potential client’s problem and believe you can solve it, go ahead and apply. Take time to carefully demonstrate why you can solve their problem even though your credits don’t match, exactly, the job titles. Here’s what I mean:
Although I’m certainly not a public relations guru, I’ve written enough press releases and interviewed enough article subjects that I can often qualify, if I take time to point out both.
Long before I started writing I sold and developed property with my father. Referring to that background which wasn’t on my list of credits, landed me enough real estate writing so I look like an expert.
While I’m not a scientist, if you can explain it to me, I can turn it into prose that is eminently readable by lay people.
On the other hand, my refusal to watch football or play golf means I’d be a poor choice to write about either – unless it was “why I don’t watch football or play golf” essays…which come to think about it might be fun.
I’d just returned to my teaching job at a Seattle technical college after 5.5 years overseas, and couldn’t settle back into the routine. After 3 years as an expat spouse in Singapore, and 2.5 years in Belgium—laced with non-stop travel—my heart was no longer in teaching. I’d traveled too much and changed too much.
I wondered how I could break into what looked like the glamorous and exciting travel writing arena.
I took a travel writing workshop
In July 2007, I enrolled in a 3-day travel writing workshop in Portland, Oregon, just down Interstate-5 from Seattle. I was so excited to sit in the class, along with 70 other travel writing wannabees.
One month later, after reviewing the course notes and slide shows, I sent out my first batch of query letters. An editor emailed back, requesting my proposed article. I remember thinking, “That was easy.”
I immediately sent out another query and another editor snapped up my story. I thought that perhaps these modest successes were flukes, but I fired out more queries. Each week, without fail, I secured one or two more fresh assignments with paying print media.
My bylines grew rapidly, and by my 7th month, I had 100 published articles in print media, some of which were reprint sales. Sixty-eight of these articles were paid, and the remainder written for free to boost my bylines. I just wanted to get my work published. By this time, my work had appeared in 34 magazines. My gross writing income was only $9110, and my average pay for each article was $134, but at least I was bringing in some income. A modest start, but things were snowballing!
A travel writing conference
Then, in my third year of freelancing, I attended a travel writing conference. I heard a veteran travel writer boasting, very proudly, that she had been published in 100 magazines, over her 20 year writing career. I turned to the 7 other writers at my table and said, “What’s the big deal about that? It took me 25 months to get published in 100 magazines”.
A guy at my table said, “B——t”. The rest stared at me like I was from Mars.
I showed the guy who didn’t believe me my long list of published articles on my computer, and his jaw dropped. Then everyone at my table started asking me how I had managed to get published so much.
I was starting to realize that what I was doing was quite noteworthy. Up to then, I had thought that everyone was selling one, or two, or three articles every week like me.
Travel writing today
Fast forward to today. I have more than 1,000 articles published in 200 regional, national, and international magazines, newspapers, trade journals, custom publications, specialty magazines, in-flights, on-boards, and online travel magazines. Ninety percent of my queries are accepted for publication. I’m considered one of the most prolific travel writers in the U.S.A.
My work has appeared in American Cowboy, Australia & New Zealand, Beers-of-the-World, Beer Connoisseur, Beer Magazine, Blue Water Sailing, Britain Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Classic Boat, Collectible Automobile, Emirates Open Skies in-flight, International Living, Lost Treasure, New Zealand Sunday News, Northwest Travel & Life, Off-Road Adventures, Oregon Coast, Popular Communications, Renaissance, Scotland Magazine, Sculpture, Smithsonian Air & Space, South China Morning Post, Sunday Oregonian, This England, and many other magazines.
My travel writing secret
What’s the secret to my rapid ascent into freelance writing?
There’s no single key. In many ways I have a “maverick” marketing approach to selling my work. Here are a few of my most effective techniques and tips.
I write in multiple genres including travel and culture, history, military history, art, communications, automobiles, museums, health, fitness, running, sports, and film festivals. This broad base provides me with almost unlimited magazines to query.
I use numerous marketing techniques. I create lengthy distribution lists to fire my queries out to. I have a standard formatted template for my query letters and have great success using simultaneous queries and multiple queries. I also send out dozens of queries, and do not tailor my queries to each publication (heresy!).
I establish a strong rapport with my “regular” magazine editors, to get repeat business. I often help them out of a bind by writing articles at short notice.
I only spend one hour/day on social media; most of my time is spent dreaming up and researching new story ideas, writing query letters, and cranking out articles.
I have plenty of other marketing and sales tricks up my sleeve, but space does not permit me to elaborate on any others here. Above all, I’m in this for the long haul and do not let rejections and other minor setbacks deter me from ploughing on.
Roy Stevenson has authored ten books on selling and marketing freelance travel stories. (http://www.pitchtravelwrite.com/digital-downloads.html )
He produces a free weekly newsletter for aspiring travel writers. It’s considered one of the most informative e-zines in the travel writing business.
Subscribe here: http://www.pitchtravelwrite.com/pitchtravelwrite-ezine.html
Roy also hosts a Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class in Seattle in April, aimed at showing travel writers how to sell their stories to paying print media, and how to parlay their assignments into complimentary travel perks.
For course & registration details please go here: https://www.pitchtravelwrite.com/travel-writing-workshop-2019-seattle.html
You can read Roy’s bio and see some samples of his work at his writer’s website, www.Roy-Stevenson.com
A while back I announced with great pride and expectation that I was now aiming at “Inbox Zero.” You know, the scheme that insists we empty our email boxes by end of business every day.
Inbox Zero hasn’t worked for me. Not even close!
And the problem isn’t in just my desktop email, but in my gmail account and in an account I use with another firm I work with. Every now and again I spend an hour or so both deleting emails by the ton, and unsubscribing from the unread newsletters I tend to accumulate. I feel virtuous for about 10 seconds, then go back to whatever I was avoiding.
The reason Kris Gage has become such a favorite writer of mine is because she writes soulfully and lucidly about Big R Relationships. Yes, her essays on love flat turn me on. She knows, as I now do, how much of a choice love really is and says so in a wide variety of mostly delightful ways.
Obviously, she’s not stuck on writing about love. If she were I’d never have had to opportunity to read her views on Inbox Zero. Who knew?
If you’ve been tempted to reach for Inbox Zero or have, like me, failed at it, take a moment and read her article.
It’s it’s the links!
Although Kris does give some hints about what to do with an overflowing inbox, she also generously shares some links. Some are to instructions about how to get to Inbox Zero (from some prestigious magazines considering what we’re dealing with here).
After years of practice, I reflexively follow the Robbins method and don’t give unimportant emails control over even a tiny fraction of my mental energy. Right now, I have 8,560 unread email messages in my iPhone inbox and 22,239 unread messages in my Outlook inbox.
James has now officially also become one of my favorite author. I mean I truly laughed out loud when I read this because it sounds much more like me than any of the other stuff. He knows what to take seriously and what not to worry about. (Wonder if he writes about Big R Relationships, or is perhaps single himself? Naw, he’s interesting and probably intelligent enough but he’s also way younger than me and I already know that doesn’t work ’cause I’ve tried it. Sigh.)
Whew, I’m taking myself officially off this particular hook, and it feels great. Thank you Kris and Geoffrey!