The successful freelance writer can get so caught up in doing the same ole same ole that she misses the fine line. That happened to me just the other day. I got a project request that touched on a subject near and dear to my heart so I jumped on it.
There was plenty of time to get the project completed. I knew exactly how long it would take. So I put it at the bottom of the pile and even piled up a couple of more projects on top of it. My schedule even allowed for a little time off to enjoy the last snow of the season.
The due date snuck up on me, as due dates are prone to do, but I still was not panicked. I started doing a little research for the job and then noticed the little phrase at the bottom of the description: “see supporting documents.” It took me some time to dig up the supporting documents and I was a bit knocked sideways by what I read.
I got the job done and was very satisfied with the way that it turned out. It took longer than I thought it would, but the main hitch was getting my mind moving in the direction of those supporting documents and out of the rut the article had been headed because of my own experience.
Tips to Avoid a Project Trap
1. Read the entire job proposal twice and then read it out loud. Be confident that you understand the exact terms of the project.
2. Read or review all supporting documents that accompany the project.
3. Write down any questions you have about the project, the documents or the details and send them to the client for a response.
4. Review the responses to your questions.
5. Highlight or write down the most significant points of the project – including due day, word count and payment.
6. Estimate the amount of time required to complete the project with quality!
7. Check your calendar to see if your schedule can handle the project and where you can fit in any time for the project (be sure to consider other commitments other than work as well as personal writing).
8. Weigh the time and effort you will spend to the pay you will receive and determine if this project leans the right direction.
9. Contact the client with an acceptance or a rejection of the project.
10. Start on the project when you get the project!
This whole process should not take more than a day – two at the most. I am implementing this even for existing clients because it was a regular client that thru me for a loop with the latest project.
My freelance writing career started in this manner. It was my comfort in the field of writing that almost landed me in deep water. Sometimes success can lead to failure if success, and not skill or experience, begins to drive the boat.