When was the last time you turned down a freelance writing gig? If you’re just starting out I know it’s hard to imagine turning down work, but believe me it happens.
Here is a list of reasons for turning down freelance writing work:
- Too Much Work – The best of all reasons. It’s entirely possible that your cup runneth over. If you’re already putting in 14 hour days to keep your head above water it may be in the best interest of your business and your current clients for you to turn down work.
- Underqualified – This requires close introspection and honesty. If the job is out of your league, admit it and move on. If you dive in, there is a good chance that you will not be successful and your business, credibility and reputation will suffer. As well, chances are you’ll feel guilty and your self-esteem will take an unnecessary hit.
- Work You Don’t Like – If long-tailed key words drive you buggy, don’t take that kind of job. It really is that simple. Some folks will say that you should suffer through any kind of job and in terms of making income that is probably the case. If you are in this for the long haul however, consider tightening the belt for another month and find some writing to do that you enjoy. Life is too short.
- Bad Client Indicators – In the first communication with the client, you see signs that they are going to be very difficult to work with. These signs include ambiguity about the assignment, the client using the words “limited budget”, lots of talk about previous hires that didn’t do what the client wanted, an obvious lack of understanding about the process or an unrealistic view of the time or cost of the project.
- Voo Doo Vibes – You may not be able to put your finger on it, but the hairs on the back of your neck are sticking straight up and you’ve got more red flags than a local communist party rally. Don’t question your gut. Be wise and don’t take the job. You may never know why, but that doesn’t matter. Just go to bed each night feeling relatively certain that you have saved yourself some heartache by letting this one slip on to some other poor soul.
As you mature as a freelance writer, the times that you need to turn down work will become clearer and the heartache will diminish. If you need to carry that thought with you as you turn down work as an early freelancer then so be it. Freelance writing assignments are like appetites. Jerry Seinfeld says it doesn’t matter if you ruin your appetite, there’s always another one waiting in line. I think there’s a lot of wisdom in that.
What’s your story? Have you ever turned down a freelance writing assignment? If so, then why did you turn it down and how did you feel about it?