Sometimes you need to say no

I’m really struggling with email at the moment. I have a handful of personal email pals I’ve been keeping in touch with reasonably well over the last couple of months, but also a metric fuckton of Bloglovin’ notifications, social media updates and newsletters.

I know I’m not alone here. I’m sure everyone with an inbox has this problem to some extent. And I think about this a lot when writing Dot Dot Dot every month.

Am I worthy of being in a subscriber’s inbox? I don’t want to just do the freebie monkey dance, and personally, I’d feel a bit insulted if an author thought that’s all I wanted when I subscribe to their newsletter. I mean, free stuff is nice, but before that, I look for stuff I value. Interesting things. Things I can learn from and improve my life with. Things I can take on board and try to be a better person with. I hope my readers enjoy that sort of stuff too.

And then there’s the frequency. Is one email a month still too much to be sending people? I subscribe to a very talented calligrapher’s monthly newsletter and I look forward to her updates. But I’ve also subscribed to software-as-a-service platforms and use their once-in-a-blue-moon updates as a cue to unsubscribe, even though I find their service interesting.

Comic: 10 years ago, letters were meh and emails were exciting. Now, emails are meh and letters are exciting.

As much as I can, I try to keep my newsletters personal — without getting TMI, of course. If that’s even possible in a newsletter about smut, sex and love? But I’m motivated to try because the majority of my inbox (and twitter feed) seems to be stuffed with overexcited marketing and obviously automated updates 😒

The shining stars in my dark, dark gmail are the personal messages from people. It’s nice to have a conversation, you know? As a writer, I spend a lot of time in my own head, so it’s nice to get perspective from other people.

If you like what you see in my newsletter, hit reply and write to me. We can chat a bit 💌

But if you ever find them too much for you, I won’t take it personally if you unsubscribe.

Sometimes you just gotta say no. Boundaries are healthy. They’re good for everyone. For instance, Circlet Press said no to my story submission. The editor said it wasn’t “what [she] was looking for”, but gave me some lovely feedback that gets me thinking this piece is in a share-worthy state.

Keep an eye out — I’ll publish it as a free read on this blog closer to Halloween.


Img via condesign (CC0)