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🕊 The case for (potentially) quitting Twitter

And the 5 essential questions to ask before taking on a client

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Hi there,

Greetings from Tulum!

I’m here celebrating my best friend’s 27th birthday. To fully unplug, I decided to not post on Twitter for ten days. The vacation is now over but I have zero desire to return to my old tweeting schedule. In fact, I might not return at all.

For the past 2.5 years, I’ve been posting almost every day on Twitter. I’ve poured hundreds and hundreds of hours into building my “personal brand,” throttled forward by the crusade that Twitter would help me succeed as a freelance writer.

But what does “success” look like?

Right now, Twitter is a part-time job where I’m putting around 40-50 hours a month. In return, I’m getting a smidge more exposure — a few dozen new email subscribers there, a few hundred Twitter followers here.

What’s this exposure for? I’m fortunate enough to already be earning a solid living, to write from anywhere in the world, to have amazing family and co-workers.

What are those 40 hours a month actually costing me?

When I read this passage from Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism, it all clicked:

Those 40 hours could be put towards a more creative, free, and offline life. It’s scary to imagine stepping away from a platform you put so much in, but life is about knowing when to quit when it’s not longer benefiting you.

Are you creator slash writer who’s also having an existential crisis with Twitter? 🙋‍♀️ Let me know your POV — I’d love to know how you’re grappling with this.

Harald Slott-Möller (Danish, 1864-1937) - Evening with Two Women Having a Conversation

✍️ Quick Writing Tip

It should be the perfect opportunity.

Your schedule is clear, you’re armed with your beverage of choice and noise-canceling headphones, and there’s nothing left to do but write.

But when you try to type, not a single word comes from your fingertips.

This is when you realize there’s a difference between having the time to do something and possessing the creative energy it requires. Without the latter, it’ll be difficult to get anything done — no matter how empty your calendar is.

In my latest article for Len’s In Bloom, I wrote about the five techniques I use to recharge my creative battery (and no, it’s not regurgitated advice on rest or diet).

In case you need a super fast reminder, Lens is a digital home for authentic creator stories that inspire, inform, and entertain. ‘In Bloom’ explores the intersection of productivity and wellness in the creative realm. 

And for my next piece, I’d love to hear from you:

What part of the creative process would you like to get smarter on?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

P.S. — Lens is always on the lookout for talented writers. If that’s you, submit your portfolio and pitches to [email protected]. Hope to have you as my co-worker. 🙂 

🥒 Content Diet

💰 The Magic of Doing $10,000 Work by Rad Reads - I loved Khe Hy’s piece on why not all labor is created equal. If you feel as though you’re working a lot but are barely moving the needle, this piece will help you identify those higher-leverage tasks.

🎬 Why I Quit YouTube by Elle Mills - Elle Mills gave it her all to become successful on YouTube. But when she “made it,” she quit and vanished into the internet ethos. Her piece for the NYT resonates a lot as I wrangle with WTF I’m doing with social media these days.

And now, how AI sees itself:

✍🏼 Freelancing Journey

This Week: 5 Essential Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Writing Job

You’re this 🤏 close to popping the champagne.

The client seems awesome, the writing interesting, and the rates competitive. But before you say “yes,” there are five essential questions to go over with your client. These questions will not only help you prevent scope creep but help you appropriately price for the job.

I never sign a client without going over these first!

1. Will you be needing an editor? → You’re a writer, not an editor. If they say “yes,” you might want to ask for an additional budget for you to outsource for an editor. Usually, anywhere from $150-$250 (depending on the length of the piece) should suffice. If you need a good editor, message me–I can get you connected to some talented people!

2. Am I pitching my own ideas or are you assigning them? → If the client needs you to pitch your own ideas (which you should suggest, as this bumps you up from someone who’s just following orders versus a strategist) you can charge extra.

3. Do you need subject matter expert interviews? → If there’s any question that’s going to prevent scope creep, it’s this one. I charge anywhere from $80-$150 more for each interview: finding the person, preparing for the call, debriefing, etc, is super time-consuming.

4. Do you need SEO specialization? → If a client needs you to rank for SEO, this is grounds to charge a premium. Usually, they’ll provide you with a sheet of keywords to account for.

5. Will this piece include my byline? → If the article won’t list the author’s name, this will make it more difficult for you to share it on your website and promote your writing chops. I charge a premium if an article doesn’t list my name.

Are there other questions you go through with each client? Let me know!

That’s it for this week!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a beautiful week, wherever you are. If you enjoyed this newsletter, why not share it with a writer friend? 🙂 

Stay Creative,

Alice 💌

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