Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Non-Freelance Writing Project that Never was…

Don't you just hate it when a client leaves a project hanging? I have a client I have been working with on a project with for the past two years (!!!!!!!) and it's really a very simple project. The problem is my client has been too busy to do what needed to be done on his end so we could finish things up. He admits that this is so. Still, I do share some of the blame in this situation, so I'll share with you the lessons I have learned so far:

1. Define your services clearly. I am a freelance writer. Yet here I am helping out my local masjid with a rezoning project. What can I say? I felt obligated to help.
2. Avoid giving others the "hook up" if you work to pay bills. I discounted this project soooo much that I should have just offered to do it for free. I didn't have my business thinking cap on when I offered to do this.
3. Take control of the project. I failed miserably here. The Imam is such a sweet man. He told me what he needed, but I failed to realize how busy this man really is, and that I would spend lots of my time chasing him down to get the paperwork he was required to complete and sign. Not to mention he began relying on me to find people to survey the property, an architect to draw building plans that needed to accompany the rezoning application and so on, and so on. Yes, I realized a long time ago that this is NOT a freelance writing project.
4. Don't take on a project you know nothing about just to get paid. Take my word for it.

The worst part of this scenario is that I was paid upfront for my services. I am thinking of giving him the money back and politely explaining that because of my business, I no longer have time to complete this project. After all, it is two years past the projected due date….

4 comments:

L. Shepherd said...

Taking on projects that you know nothing about is the way to expand your horizons. After doing that a few times, the topics you can write about effortlessly will increase- and so will your income.

Avid Writer said...

Hi I. Shepard,

I agree - but completing a commercial rezoning project is pretty far off from the services I offer. I had to transition from being a freelancer who operates as a jack-of-all-trades to a freelance writer. And I am still transitioning.

Courtney said...

Well, commercial rezoning is certainly out of my league! And I'm not all that eager to learn that one. I would just give the money back, this could string on another two years...if only you were being paid salary. :)

Avid Writer said...

Hi Courtney,

Lol, it's out of my league too! But luckily it's one of those things where you just have to follow the application's directions - which is extremely long, time consuming and detailed. Never again, no way! I am definitely going to refund his money. :)

 
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