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What if You Don't Want to Be Your Best Self?

Lessons from 3 AM projectile vomiting (thank you, Bali Belly 🫰)

Hi there. 👋 Internetly is a newsletter that helps internet writers be profitable freelancers, hone their written craft, and go nomadic. To join, subscribe below.

Today’s Internetly is brought to you by Whoa CRM! 

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🌴 Bali Digital Nomad Diaries

“I hate to tell you this,” says my friend Dino over watermelon juice and french fries. “But you will get Bali Belly at one point. It happens to everyone.” 

I stare at him blankly. Did I believe him? Hah! No. In the past four years, I’ve battled food poisoning in the Philippines and in Mexico. I’ve paid my fucking dues. I’ve earned immunity. Try me. 

A few days later, I was projectile vomiting into a toilet at 3 AM (Bali: 1. Alice: 0). I spent the next two days staring into TOTO’s porcelain bowels and vowing to never consume mushroom nachos in Indonesia ever — and I mean ever — again. 

After I’d mustered an appetite to eat some banana, I emerged from my frosty hotel room and thought: “It’s all good. This is just more rocket fuel.” 

Rocket Fuel. I’d first heard those words from singer Mike Posner: “I believe pain is rocket fuel and it is your job to direct that fuel. You can either let it consume you or you can use it to create something beautiful.” 

Create something beautiful. Yes! That’s what I’ll do. I’ll transform the pain of leaving behind my old life — my partner, my home — into something magnificent. I’ll become my best self. I can practically see her now, sun-kissed and sea-soaked. Secure. Strong. 

So I trudged forward. I went surfing at sunrise, under a sky that melted violet to indigo, watching schools of sardines and their silver bodies leaping around us. I went to Gili Trawangan and danced in the sand under a full moon and felt so fulfilled I vowed I’d never say anything negative about this life ever again. 

And yet. 

Despite the bliss, nothing changed.

Despite the beauty, nothing changed.

Despite knowing how privileged I am to have any of these experiences at all, nothing changed.

The pain remained and I had zero — absolutely zero — motivation to transform. All I wanted to do was crawl under the covers and swipe through old photos. Scroll. Reminisce. Cry. Rinse and repeat.  

“I should be using the pain, and instead it’s using me.” Cue the self-loathing.

But, it led me to realize: Expecting your pain to help you grow is tempting because it offers possibility. This is jeopardous, because if – when you fall limp and spiral, your self-esteem plummets.

Pain doesn’t have to always be a catalyst for action. It’s okay if it just sits there in your lap and weighs a million pounds. There’s no prize for hauling it off of you as quickly as possible. Let it rest and remind you of your humanity.

Maybe you’re going through relationship troubles. Maybe you’re dealing with endless rejections as you build your writing business. Maybe life is just tough.

Whatever it is, remember: It's not about how fast you move past the pain, or how dramatic of a transform you undergo. It’s about sitting with discomfort and giving yourself grace throughout this whole shitty process. 

You got this. 🤍

Views from the Sweet Orange Trail in Ubud. Highly recommend. 💚

✍️ Quick Freelancing Tip

Stop Charging the Same Prices to Every Client

Are you quoting all potential clients the same price? Then you’re losing money. For example, say two clients both want a case study. Do you both charge them $1,000?

No. Here’s why:

Client A) They supply a brief and outline. They’ve already interviewed the person they want the case study to be about. They have an in-house editor to handle your draft once you’re done.

Client B) They don’t have a brief or outline. They’ll need you to conduct an interview, and have zero in-house editors. They also want more than two rounds of edits and for the project to be finished as soon as possible.

The same deliverable, two completely different scopes.

If a client inquires about your prices, respond with this:

“Hey! For this type of deliverable, my rate begins at $X. However, it can vary depending on the scope of the project and your timeline. Let’s chat about exactly what you need and go from there.”

 🥒 Content Diet

• Big Desk Energy by Tyler Denk — A fire playlist of productivity tunes that’s been on repeat for every single writing session. And with 13,093 likes, I’m not the only one.

• Freelance Bold Newsletter by Marijana Kostelac — Marijana has been freelancing since 2016 and recently returned to the content game, and I am so glad she did. Her freelancing newsletter freaking delivers. It’s high-quality, whip-smart, and (very clearly) written with care. I promise you’ll love it.

 5 Things Editors Love to See From Freelancers by Contently – To become a freelancer people want to hire again and again, read this. Because a great freelancer isn’t just a great writer – they make their clients’ lives 10X easier.

Thanks for being here! 

Hope you have a beautiful rest of your week, wherever you are.

Stay Creative,

Alice 💌

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