Note: The content of this article was originally written for my newsletter subscribers on February 23, 2022. If you want to read these articles while they’re still fresh, please subscribe to my newsletter today. You can find the signup link in the side panel (desktop) or at the bottom of this page (mobile).
Hi Reader Friend,
Imagine a world where goals are met, deadlines are respected, and boxes are checked all the time, every time. How much could we get done if we just stick to the plans we’ve set and let nothing like lethargy or creative droughts get in the way? Everything? Some of the things? Just the things we’re interested in doing?
When I started this newsletter, I had a lofty intention in mind: Send out at least one letter a month, every month, and cross my fingers that you would read it. The hope was that I’d have something interesting to say every month. As a writer, I’d like to think I’m creative enough to meet that goal. As a professional, I’d have to be creative enough to fulfill that goal.
But, as I said in an earlier newsletter, I’m a realistic person, neither optimistic nor pessimistic. I try to see the truth in all things, for better or for worse. And the truth is, I’ve been so invested in building my site and getting my various information and promotional tools together that I’ve suffered a mini-burnout in 2021, and I’m still feeling the effects of it here in early 2022.
I could be the optimist and say that it’ll pass with happy thoughts or putting my butt in a chair and typing something to see what happens. Likewise, I could be the pessimist and say that this burnout is so deep that I’ll never get my creativity or rational mind back, and I should just say thanks for reading and go back to bed.
But I’m a realist.
Burnout goes away in time. Creativity comes back after a long walk or a nice meal. A change in life situation certainly helps, but that’s not always possible, especially when life has different requirements for different people in different age groups. In my case, I’ve somehow become a reclusive writer who has yet to develop a bad habit to coexist with my writing habit (unless you count three cups of coffee a day), and that reclusiveness has come with its own set of contributing factors to burnout. Case in point, I haven’t been on a date in about eleven years.
I say all of that because I want to send out “the latest news” as it becomes relevant. But I also don’t want to add to my burnout. So, even though I’d like to send you updates every month, I also want to update you when I’ve got something fun to share.
So, here’s my compromise.
My email service provider likes to archive my content from both my blog and my YouTube page. I haven’t been sending out that content because I want to make sure my readers are getting what they signed up for and nothing more. Of course, the challenge here is in figuring out which readers are here for my books and which ones are here because they like what I posted on YouTube.
Because you know which reader you are, even if I don’t, you know which content you’ll enjoy. So, to ensure that you get the content you want, I’ll be sending out my “smart campaigns” as they’re created, which is my email service provider’s way of archiving my weekly content into a newsletter digest. From there, you can decide whether to read the related articles or video content.
Now, I can’t say I’ll have something new every week, and I can’t promise they’ll always relate exactly to the topics you’re most interested in hearing about, but the smart campaigns are created the Monday following any week where I’ve posted new online content, so if you’re looking to discover new topics that go beyond the usual focus of this newsletter, this is one way to do so.
And if enough of my subscribers tell me they like what I’m posting, I’ll try to produce more content like it more often.
Hopefully it won’t lead to burnout.
But I’ll be sending out my smart campaigns from January to the current week over the next few days, and then I’ll be posting each new one as they’re created every Monday moving forward. Again, you may like them, or you may not care, but they’ll be there for you to make that choice regardless. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy them enough to check them out.
And if you do, I certainly hope you’ll let me know. Responding to these emails is one way to do that. Liking the videos or commenting on the blog content is another.
Speaking of Archives:
One observation I’ve made since starting this newsletter is that not every subscriber will open every email. And that’s fine. We’re so inundated with messages on a daily basis that we have to pick and choose which ones are most important to us. While I like to craft my newsletters into the type of content that you’d actually want to read, I accept the fact that I still won’t reach everyone all of the time.
So, again, I’ve decided to make a compromise.
For those of you who enjoy this newsletter but can’t always keep up with the demands of your inbox, I’ll be reposting each article to my “latest news” section on my website, under the “newsletter articles” category. This way, if my newsletter gets lost in the turbulent sea of special offers and urgent requests that come your way each day, you can find it again by visiting my site.
With a caveat.
Because you, as a newsletter subscriber, have invited me to send you messages to your inbox, you’ll be the first to get that newsletter’s content (in your inbox). But anyone who wants to read my content without joining my mailing list will have to wait at least a month (maybe longer) to get that same content.
This means that all newsletter content may eventually show up on my blog, and it will be public for anyone to read, but that content will be old news and strictly archival. So, it’ll be there eventually, and you can read it there once it goes live. But because it’ll be old news by the time it reaches my site, it’ll still be to your benefit to read my newsletter as it comes to you, when it’s most relevant.
Also, my email reputation depends on you opening and responding to my messages, which affects how reliable your service will be in getting my newsletter to you, so I hope you’ll continue to engage with them. But the Newsletter Articles blog category on my website will be available for you to catch up on the past, should the past somehow slip away from your grip.
Here’s how to check it out:
Note: To avoid overwhelming new readers, I’ll be posting these archived articles by the week, not the day, until I’m caught up to the most recent previous newsletter. Then I’ll be waiting at least a month before posting the current newsletter. That said, I’ll likely post these articles on Wednesday to satisfy the “Writing Wednesday” alliteration (and not because Wednesdays are also good days for blog content).
Note 2: The archives will continue only if my newsletter subscribers continue to open their email. I want to use these archives as a way to make past content easier to access, especially in the case of multiple-part messages that span several emails. I do not want them to replace my newsletter.
Oh, and while we’re on the topic, if you wouldn’t mind responding to this message letting me know which newsletter topics you enjoy the most, I’d appreciate it. Sometimes the best way to guarantee that I deliver the content you want is to ask you what you want. I hear this system works pretty well in cases like when you sit at a dining room table and a server hands you a menu instead of a pre-made dinner, or when you try to keep a relationship alive by talking to each other, so I think it’s worth testing here. Let me know if it is.
I’m still writing Paperweight. It’s a hard one to get right. But I’ll talk more about it soon. Stay tuned.
No, really, I’ll talk more about it next time.
This month’s newsletter has reached its potential time-monopoly threshold, so I’m going to end it here. But once again, thanks for reading, and thanks for being a supporter of my work. I’ll be back next month with more information about Paperweight, as well as a continuation to the story about my website that I told on Thanksgiving. Four months later is still better than no months later. You can frame that if you want.
In the meantime, I’ll be sending out a few of my old smart campaigns over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, you’ll find something new and interesting among them.
Until next time.
Cover Image: Alexas_Fotos (Pixabay)