This week I had a little mishap with my email inbox. Somehow the emails I had stashed away in folders ended up co-mingling with the trash. With the trash of 40,000 unwanted emails! THE DRAMA! It’s created a crappy task of having to dig through my trash for the emails I want to keep. Silver lining? It has given me an opportunity to let go. Let go of the emails about doctor appointments, pilates classes, interviews, how to get better skin and you get the gist. It’s also prompted me to write about a related topic that has plagued me for a while now. Newsletters, helpful or a source of misery?
At the beginning of my copywriting journey, I signed up to a handful of newsletters. Copywriters were offering 5 step improvements to writing. They were offering help with bestselling headlines, a guide on how to make a living with writing and so on. I was eager to soak up their knowledge and tips.
Fast forward to months later. I went from wanting to write a blog per week, to the more realistic two blogs per month. Most recently I realised due to working full time and also having a life, one blog per month is all I can manage now.
Anyhow, I then went through a real procrastination funk. I got myself out of it and decided to tackle the blog on copywriting briefs. That was now about 3 weeks ago. I have a draft I don’t like. I have sentences I don’t like. I didn’t even grasp the concept until about a week ago. When I tried to procrastinate some more by looking at my emails, I felt worse. I got slapped in the face with the wonderful copywriting newsletters I so eagerly signed up for. Don’t get me wrong, sharing is caring and nothing better than free knowledge. I wouldn’t be able to pursue this if others weren’t willing to share. But I only have one question – what is the right amount?
What is the right amount of communication?
Who knows, but an email full of amazing copywriting hints and tips per day, sure is not. Whilst I was struggling to write this one blog, others were sending daily emails. Emails containing so much content that I couldn’t even manage to read it. It’s not enough that my own impostor syndrome was kicking my butt. I also had established copywriters sending me emails about how easy it all is. Way to make ya feel good, not.
Then I stopped to consider why this was making me feel even worse.
Here is what I found.
1. I need to go to jelly school
I was jealous. Yes, totes jelly! Jealous because I would actually love to write daily emails for a living, instead of being an office rat. Jealous because I was stuck on a single blog for weeks. Yet they were sending beautifully written emails each day! So jelly!
2. Too much and too little time
Why was I feeling so overwhelmed? Because, below.
The amount: Too much information received daily. When I signed up, I expected one email per week max. I imagined I'd have the time to sit down with a cup of tea on the weekend to digest the information. Then incorporate it into my writing. But the sheer amount only allowed for me to scan the subjects, read one out of three (forget what I’ve read because it’s read during my commute to work) and file the rest.
Lack of time: No time to digest valuable knowledge. It was making me feel like a failure. Like I was that kid in school that’s behind and can’t ever catch up. I was feeling sad, depressed. Maybe this isn’t the career for me? If I can’t manage to read all these emails, then I am not cut out for it?
There it is. Instead of helping me reach my copywriting potential, the emails that promised help instead put me in a state of anxiety! Fine, it wasn’t THAT serious. But it wasn’t uplifting either.
It's been brought to my attention since, that those copywriters might have help. They might have a partner, or assistant or other resources working with them. So that kinda softens the blow. But I can’t help thinking that if I am feeling this way, there are others who are too. And whilst information is a great thing, it can also be a source of panic. The panic that comes from realising that I will never be able to digest everything that is being sent to me. And the fear of not being up to date.
Then a thought occurred to me. What if this is the standard human fear of missing out? Am I a victim of FOMO and should I just get on with it? Perhaps my dread about not reading those emails is affecting my ability to relax and write?
I would love to know how others feel. If you are out there and are filled with horror at the sight of all the helpful emails in your inbox, please message me, comment, tweet! I have to know I am not alone!
In the meantime, FOMO or not, I am off to delete some more emails!