Aug 29, 2021

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes of the new Cult of Personality™ monthly newsletter, The ‘S’ Files. (Link in my bio to join the mailing list!)

I’m going roundup style, like Roxane Gay is doing with The Audacious newsletter, but I wanted it to have a consistent look and feel, and I thought it would be cool to riff on the “cult classic” themes of my website with a dossier-style situation. 🤓

This is the preliminary design, which I think my designer nailed. I have some changes I want her to make, mostly because I don’t want anyone to have to click through to read my content—I want it all right there in the email.

So my next steps are to give the designer my feedback in a way that’s thoughtful, kind, appreciative, and clear. Here’s how I do that—

#1 rule of giving feedback on creative work: BE POSITIVE. Gush about the things you like. You can never do too much of this, trust me. Us creatives are a sensitive bunch. 🙂

#2 rule: BE SPECIFIC. “I don’t like it” is not constructive feedback; neither is “that red looks weird to me.” Use examples and take your time thinking through exactly what you want them to adjust, and *why*.

#3 rule: IT’S NOT PERSONAL, BRO. If you get back a piece of design or copy that’s really missing the mark, don’t take it personally. It’s probably b/c of some crossed wires—either the intake process was missing some crucial pieces, or you did a bad job of explaining what you wanted. It’s most likely a combination of the two, so don’t get all blamey there, bucko.

*Pro Tip #1: USE A SCREENCAST. Designers tend to be visually oriented people (duh) so it helps if they can see what you’re talking about. But I’m a copywriter and I like this, too.


I always take at least 24 hours to think about what I’m seeing. I look it over multiple times, notice my initial response, ask myself questions, and get one other (informed) person’s gut response. I don’t send feedback until I’m absolutely clear about what I want to ask for & why.

The final version will look different from this—that’s why it’s a #behindthescenes post. Don’t forget to join my mailing list! ✍🏻

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work. 

She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.

Emails for cult thought leaders.

(Personality included.)

Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?

I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.

(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)

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*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.

Interested in working together?