Feedback Friday :: Self-Belief

pitches/proposals :: 4 (four cold pitches to magazine editors and absolutely the last I will ever make)
responses :: 0 (natuurlijk)
new jobs offered :: 4 (copywriting, man – that’s where it’s at)
new jobs reneged upon :: 1
English lessons taught :: 3
hours of Dutch learning :: about 3. Duolingo continues to impress.
books being read :: 2 (same two as last week)
physical exercise :: nothing. I’ve decided to give up till Amsterdam, when as soon as I find somewhere slightly long-term to live, I will lose weight methodically and deliberately and integrate the process into the Great Leap Forward. Shit, yeah. Now give me another sweetass Toffee Crisp.
metaphysical exercise :: nothing. Back to the 6am starts next week though. Things will be different.
routine adhesion :: 10%
week 14/52 overall rating :: 10/10. Yeah. A few set-backs but they bounced off me like snooker balls off a trampette. It probably would have been another nine but it’s not every week you figure out who you are.

This week has been filled with what felt at the time of inception like some pretty amazing ideas. In retrospect, thankfully, they still feel pretty amazing. So much so that on Tuesday I posted this to Facebook, and three days later I’m copying it here…

Screenshot 2016-04-15 11.04.57

Then on Wednesday it struck me that what’s really changed is that for the first time ever, I have self-belief.

I’ve never really had it before. I’ve believed in my abilities, certainly, but not in my ability to convert my abilities into value for other people.

Obviously, my whole life has led up to this moment, but I’m extremely grateful to Niall Doherty and his 3M1K course for forcing me to go back to the beginning and figure out how to make a living. Once I’d figured that out, it was only a matter of time till everything else fell into place. Best £220 I’ve ever spent.

I’m also very grateful to me for realising that I needed that help.

Well done, me.

Don’t mention it.

Consequently, I know exactly what I want to do for the next two years and exactly what I want to produce in that time.

This feels massively liberating.


One other really excellent thing that happened this week was that I landed a job writing 10,000 words for wordsearch puzzles for some guy in Bucharest.

When he asked me when I could have it done, I said end of Friday. He was happy and sent me details of how many words were to go in each sub-category, how many sub-categories in each category and a spreadsheet in which to upload all the words.

I got started on Wednesday evening and quickly figured out that it was best to figure out all of the categories and sub-categories first, so I did that with a pen and paper. Seventeen umbrella categories ranging from Food & Drink to Religion, from Sports & Games to Old & New Technology.

Then I wrote out 360 sub-categories ranging from all the obvious stuff to Words With Silent Letters, Things That Make People Happy, Funny Place Names, Tax Havens and Words Associated with Breaking Bad. These were going to be the best wordsearch puzzles the world had ever seen! Plus I was having fun and about to be paid $200 for the privilege. Oh, the glory.

I did this till 2am, then went back into Gmail before going to bed. And there it was:

Hi Karl

I’m sorry to tell you, but I want to cancel this project. My girlfriend is going to do this.

Thank you



It turns out he hadn’t officially assigned me the job, and because I’m new to Upwork and still not very good at reading instructions, T&Cs say he owes me nothing.

I’ve since been advised to ensure that the job is officially allocated before doing any work, and even ask for a deposit up front.

That will probably seem obvious to you. It kind of does to me now, in retrospect, but you know, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

It’s a learning curve.

Now I know.

But the really great thing about it is that even at the very moment I read his message, I wasn’t angry. I actually laughed, because it was pretty funny.

The old me though, would have fumed and ranted and probably immediately sent off at least one regrettable missive.

So I’m pleased.

This unreliable man and his girlfriend have enabled me – wholly incidentally and totally empirically – to observe pleasing things about myself that I might not otherwise have observed, and I am grateful.

Maybe I should pay him $200.

No, that would be going too far, but I did send him the work I’d done.


Partly it was to see if he’d feel guilty and give me some money anyway, but also, I thought that one of the best ways to deal with someone being mean to you is to be nice to them.

The Buddha is strong in me this week.

Fuck, yeah. And it feels good.


Plus, I have finally found (after six weeks of keeping an eye open) what’s called in the circles I’m now moving in, an Accountability Partner. This basically means that I have someone to check up on me, to make sure I’m doing all that I need to be doing, and to give me grief if I come up short, in a quid pro quo situation.

The great thing about that if you’re someone like me is that there is great shame in not doing what you’ve told someone else you’re going to do. And shame can be very motivating.

That’s your lot.

I am done.

Life is good.

I really hope yours is too.

Have a great weekend. Yeah? What are you up to? I’ve got nothing planned till a double dentistry appointment on Monday morning. It’s going to be wicked.

Tell me everything in the comments.

Go on, make me even happier, so happy that it becomes really fucking annoying.




About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you’ll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

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