How You Live Today Matters | Internetly Vol. 16
On appreciating the moment, the importance of small decisions, and my freelance writing toolkit.
Happy Monday morning! I’m delivering this newsletter a day late. I was swept up this weekend as an old college girlfriend paid me a visit in NYC. We biked over the Brooklyn Bridge, went to Artechouse, ate Artichoke Pizza, and had recovery bagels from Russ & Daughters.
It sounds like a sun-soaked, carb-loaded adventure. But in reality, I felt quite disconnected from reality, saddened by trivial internal musings. Well, not that trivial.
My childhood dog, Oreo, is dying. My uncle is facing severe liver-related issues. And if I’m not careful, I might burn out (again).
I’m not sharing this with a “woe is me” intention. But I think it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes life can be a bit finicky, and it’s normal to go through periods of ebb and flow.
Even if on the outside, everything seems great. Even if work is taking off. And even if you try to stay as positive as possible.
I remind myself of this excerpt from The Almanac of Naval Ravikant when I’m caught up in the strong current of washy melancholic emotions.
It sounds evident, but we always default to take ourselves seriously. We seldom realize that in the grand scheme of things, we’re little monkeys hanging out on a giant rock.
Why not have fun with it? Not to mention, our thoughts are like clouds passing by; effervescent, temporary, weightless. No need to cling to them. They will dissipate, and life will continue.
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
This Week: It Doesn’t Matter What You Pick, As Long as You Pick Something
If creators had a nickel for every time they heard, “FiNd YoUR NiCHe” they’d never count on a creator fund again.
Most people flinch at the idea of constricting themselves to a single category. But it’s not so much the category that freaks people out; it’s the assumption that once we decide, we can’t go back.
But let me tell you: it’s not a permanent decision.
It’s not “being confined to a single niche” that should scare you. It’s the notion of not choosing anything at all.
It’s a contrarian take, but most people use “I don’t want to be bound to one thing” as an excuse for inaction.
They float in the ocean of indecisiveness, unable to swim in any one direction. They’d rather float, afraid they’ll end up swimming in the wrong direction.
But in this ocean, there’s no such thing. No matter which way you paddle, you’re getting closer to shore.
Each decision - whether it’s a niche, a hobby, a new career - is a positive accomplishment. It allows you to collect data about who you are. And from there, you can make a better, more informed decision.
So next time you think, “Ugh, I don’t want to be constricted to one thing” ask yourself; Am I worried about putting myself in an imaginary box, or am I opting to passively, comfortably float by?
Creators shouldn’t be afraid of being bound to a single niche; they must avoid not selecting anything at all. 🏃🏼♀️
🥒 Content Diet
A reminder that even the most inconsequential decision can carry profound effects.
Each decision is a drop in the lake of your life. Its impact might be minuscule, but eventually, its ripples will be felt throughout.
It reminded me of the 1 in 60 rule, well known in the air navigation industry. It states that for every 1 degree a plane veers off its course, it misses its target destination by 1 mile for every 60 miles you fly.
It doesn’t sound too dramatic.
But in 1979, Air New Zealand flight 901 crashed into Mount Erebus in Antarctica, killing all 279 people on board. The root cause? A 2-degree change in the flight coordinates which, over the course of the flight across the Southern Ocean placed the aircraft 28 miles to the east of where the pilots assumed they were.
Small decisions matter. So be proud of yourself when you make the right one, even if it’s something as small as going to the gym or refraining from an extra glass of wine. You might not know it, but it impacts you more than you think.
Even being 1 degree off course can change the entire trajectory of your life. 🛫
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: My Freelance Writing Toolkit
I’m going to share with you all the tools I use to run my freelance writing business. I’m projected to earn ~$7K this month, so I’d say it’s working well so far!
Notion - If you don’t know what Notion is, allow me to brighten your day. Notion is a knowledge management system. Here are a few templates I use in Notion every day to run my business:
Weekly Agenda - I love planning my week out so I can allocate which days will be dedicated to a specific project.
Client Portal - A home base for me and my clients. I share important documents, projects, call agendas, and calendar updates.
3-Minute Journal - Not explicitly work-related, but these quick journaling prompts quickly get me feeling focused, grateful, and present. All good things before starting the workday.
Clockify - Clockify is a time-tracking software - and I am a Clockify-girl to the max. It’s what helped me make more money as a freelancer. Here’s how.
I eliminate what takes too much time. Once I take on a project, I track how long it took me to complete. If I make less than my hourly rate, I won’t do the project again. For instance; if I was paid $500 to write a pillar piece but it took me 10 hours to write it, I’ve made $50 an hour. Since that’s under my hourly rate, I’m not making a profit.
I can accurately price projects. Knowing it takes me X amount of hours to complete X project means I can confidently price projects. Note that I am not an advocate of the hourly rate - but it helps to know how long something will take you and how skilled you are.
I mean, look at all this beautiful data.
I’ll add one last thing. Based on this chart, it looks like I’m doing light work, with each workday averaging around two hours. Do not be fooled. I spend 8 hours in front of my computer a day, responding to emails, sending invoices, and taking care of other admin duties. These hours only reflect billable work.
Wave - Wave is an accounting software platform. It takes a smaller cut than Paypal on invoices and automatically sends reminders to clients to make sure they pay on time.
Grammarly - An obvious one. A built-in spell checker that helps me make sure I’m not handing in work that’s riddled with mistakes. Because, you know, that’s important.
Google Docs - If something works well, why change it? That’s my motto with Google docs, a platform that keeps my work in one neat place. I’ll share one tip I wish I knew earlier.
Do you use a platform as a freelancer you can’t live without? Tell me about it! I’ve heard good things about You Need a Budget - anyone uses it?
Thanks for reading!
I hope you’re starting the week off strong.
If this newsletter taught you something new, why not share and subscribe?
As always, let me know if there’s ever anything I can help you with.