Get Your Writing Done!

Missing deadlines is a bad idea. Granted, like most things, this is easier said than done. Early on in your writing career, it can be difficult to determine how long writing an article for a magazine or content for a web page will take you. When you are able to set the deadline with the client, make sure that you give yourself more time than you think you will need to complete the project. Life happens, and things don’t always work out as we plan, so allow for that when making your schedule. If your client has a deadline in mind, don’t say that you can meet it if you aren’t certain that you can.

Sometimes clients don’t realize that they are setting an unrealistic deadline. I have seen ads requiring 80 articles in three days. Considering the fact that I enjoy sleeping, eating, showering (you know, normal things) I don’t have time to write nearly 30 articles a day plus my usual blogging, lesson plan writing, editing, and communicating with my client base of seven. If you think the client is unreasonable about the deadline, try to negotiate an extension, or just don’t take the job.

If you find yourself in a bind and you really thought you would be able to meet a deadline, notify the client as soon as you think tardiness is possible. Do not, I repeat, do not wait until after you have missed the deadline to offer excuses. Most clients are understanding of sickness and emergencies, but don’t fake such things, it’s just unprofessional. Clients appreciate updates on progress, and you should always set an update schedule. If you haven’t done the amount of work you thought you would by the update, you may need an extension, or a cup of coffee.

Lateness could cause your clients major inconvenience. If you do cause an inconvenience, apologize and offer some sort of compensation. You can offer a small discount. The most important thing is that you finish the work you said that you would finish (sometimes that’s enough). If you deliver high quality, most clients won’t mind that you are a little late. On the other hand, there are many clients who are on tight schedules and really need things done when they say they need them done. You may not be able to tell the difference from the start, so the safest thing to do is be one time.

Make it a personal rule never to miss a deadline.

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