What’s on the iPod: Nothing — no time to listen!
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It was a day of phone calls. Where I thought I’d have one call, I had four. I hate phone calls because they usually interrupt the schedule. I don’t mind scheduling them, and can plan for that. It’s those unplanned ones that get to me. Then there were the proposals for two clients — one was finished. The other had to wait until today. I simply ran out of time.
Today I have the first of the webinar sessions, then I must get my article started. I have a beginning and summary in mind. Just need the middle part. 😉 I have one interview to conduct, then I hope to have time to get back to that other proposal.
I was explaining to one client why the proposal had such a long completion date. I’m about to head out of town on a short vacation, (four days), and I didn’t want them looking at the deadlines and wondering why it was taking me weeks to do the first drafts. In fact, this month and next will be wild with projects and time off. I have the Aussies here for three days near the end of August (so excited to see them again!) and I simply will not work when I have company who have come so far to see us.
But it may not work for the clients. So what can a writer do when actual living gets in the way of making a living?
Suggest alternatives. I proposed a three-week timeline for this project. It may not take that long depending on my other work. If that timeline doesn’t work for them, either, I intend to ask if September is better. I have a few days off then, but I intend to work through that small trip (family wedding).
Recommend other writers. While it may be dangerous to do with new clients (who may see you as someone who’s expendable), it’s okay with established clients to offer interim help while you’re gone. Right now I’m covering for a writer who’s in Paris for an MFA course (lucky woman!). If her clients need help, I’m the back-up help until she returns. Do yourself a favor — locate the right fit and clear it with the other writer before you tell your client.
Say no. Not to the company or the vacation, but to the project. If they’re rigid in their deadlines (and all clients have their reasons for needing things done on a certain timeline), it’s okay to thank them, explain you haven’t the time to devote to the gig right now, and walk away.
What do you do when the work or projects exceed your own ability to take it all?