Here’s a tale of a freelancer’s life woes. Can you relate?
A Freelancer’s Life
The Tale of Conflicting Views
Once upon a time, I was contacted by a person that I’m going to name Annoying Dude. I live the freelancer’s life everyday established myself on the website (which shall remain nameless), so I field many messages throughout the week.
Annoying Dude wanted my expertise in writing a self-help e-book. The weekend was near, so I gave him a deadline that was too long for him. Eventually, I agreed to do it in a shorter amount of time, and I worked on it after the weekend was done. It was a small project, so I was able to complete it in one day. I delivered it, and hoped to wash my hands of it forever. Right? Wrong… So terribly, terribly wrong.
All of my writing packages come with revisions included, so AD was entitled to one, which he claimed. Then, he claimed another one. And another one. And another one. You see where I’m going with this?
He continued to ask for revisions, and each request was very minor. Mistake One: He didn’t ask for all his required revisions at the same time. Instead, he split them up just to make my life harder. This went on for weeks, and I wanted to make the buyer happy so I went along with it. It wasn’t hard work, it was just frustrating to work with him because he was never specific about what he wanted.
He might as well have been asking for the moon, and eventually he uploaded the e-book to where he wanted to sell it. The order is still open at this point, because it either closes by itself after four days from delivery or the buyer does it manually. After a few days, AD got mad at me for the book not being a big selling hit right away. Mistake Two: Expecting a book to hit it big in such a dense market with no marketing whatsoever.
The Plot Thickens
I tried to resolve the situation and suggested him getting a marketer, but he still wasn’t happy. AD gave the book to his friends to read and they said it was good, but it needed to be better. He continued to give me extremely vague instructions on how he would like me to change the book, and I told him it was impossible if he didn’t tell me what to do specifically.
Eventually, after weeks of back and forth, he finally closed the order. Then, he contacted me asking to do ANOTHER book, but this time it had to be “better.” I was so done with him at this point, so I didn’t want to continue working with him. I thought what I’d written was high-quality, but he didn’t seem to agree because it didn’t make him a millionaire in two days.
When I declined, he turned around and gave me a bad review, which you can do even after the order is closed. He said I was good, but just not good enough.
So, what can we take away from this story as writers, whether you’re freelance or a novelist?
- You cannot please everyone.
- Some people don’t understand how to express their instructions clearly.
- Don’t expect to be an overnight success.
- Any marketing you do is worthwhile.
- Patience is the key.
Was there anything you learned from my freelancer’s life? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
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