Please Message Me Back

The Freelance Writer’s Journey, Chapter 7

A few years back, the iPhone came out with a new feature called “read receipts.” You could opt to turn them on or off in your phone.

If they were on, then somebody who text messaged you could tell whether or not you read their message, and when.

This led to a phenomenon known as “getting left on read,” where you know somebody has read your message but has chosen not to reply, for whatever reason. Often it’s because of forgetfulness or a distraction, but it sure feels like they are intentionally ignoring you.

That being said, I really wish I had read receipts on Upwork and my other job-finding mediums, because then at least I would know if I was being “left on read” or not.

Recently, I’ve been having trouble getting pretty much anyone to message me back on time, even my most consistent clients. There’s not much to do except sit there any wonder if they’ve even read it.

The only thing worse than “getting left on read” is not getting read at all.

So hey, if you’re a client reading this, please message me back. I miss you.

Wins In Week 7: 

Despite the challenges in communication, through the course of this week I successfully snagged a couple of jobs that pay $50 an hour. It has definitely been a surreal experience, since I was doing $15 an hour work just one month ago.

I have another discovery call on Monday that could turn into similarly-paid work. I’m excited for more work at this rate, because after Upwork takes some and taxes take some more, I’m left with a solid hourly wage.

I’ve found the rhythm of doing all my schoolwork on days where I have classes, and only doing work on non-class days, has really helped with my sanity. For example on Wednesday I had class in the evening, so I spent the morning getting ahead on homework and relaxed in the afternoon. Then on Thursday I didn’t do any homework but instead worked on the business.

Keeping everything in its proper daily context has made me feel like a fog has lifted. It should lead to more productivity too, as I am already ahead on schoolwork and feeling like I still have energy at the end of the workweek.

Challenges In Week 7:

I already mentioned my issues with unresponsive clients. I get it. I really do. Most of them are working their tails off on startups, finding themselves underwater with many other things to do than send me a reply. The best I can do is make myself available if and when they need more help.

The downside to getting higher-paying work is that the pressure is on. When someone’s paying you $50 for an hour of work, they want results. There are all sorts of ways to analyze whether my writing is effective: Open rate, conversion rate, SEO analyzation, and of course, client satisfaction. Long story short, I’m intimidated.

It’s also been a fairly low-earning week so far, but in my new rhythm, Sunday counts as the last day of the workweek. So, between this afternoon and Sunday, I should be able to pump the numbers up.

Preoccupation In Week 7:

Batching.

One productivity hack I’ve heard is to batch your tasks together, right in a row. I tried it this week, and the results were astounding.

Every week in October, I’ve set out to listen to 10 podcasts, read 5 helpful articles, and apply to 10 jobs on Upwork. The past two weeks, I have tried to just do 2, 1, and 2 a day, respectively. But I found that this got a bit overwhelming, because it takes time for the human brain to switch tasks.

So, Sunday I listened to 10 podcasts. Another day I read 5 articles. Yesterday I did 6 Upwork proposals. Doing them all in a row made it go faster, and then it was done for the week. I’m going to experiment with batching tasks more in the weeks to come.

Final Word

Usually I am unhappy during the fall. For the past four years, it has been where work and school have gotten tremendously busy, and seasonal affectiveness has started to come on.

This fall, I feel genuinely happy.

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