You’ve just opened your WriterAccess dashboard and you’re looking to see if you have any revision requests or if there might be some new orders to pick up. That’s when you spot it. Your Love List number has gone down, not up. You quickly scan your client list. Oh, no! It’s one of your favorites. The relationship seemed so strong; now you’ve been let go. What could have gone wrong?
Maybe It’s Not You
Let’s face it: As writers, we’re artists. We put a little bit of our heart and soul into everything we write, even when we’re writing about dog food coupons. It’s natural to feel hurt when our abilities are questioned. But before you let that diminishing Love List number send you spiraling into writer’s block, step back and consider that this demotion may have nothing to do with you. The client may simply no longer need content services or maybe the business you were writing for is no longer viable. There are many reasons your services might not be needed, none of which are any reflection on your talent as a writer.
We all have our strong suits. Some of us are better at adopting a somber and journalistic tone. Others are great at humor, first person accounts or marketing. While a freelance writer needs to wear many different hats, sometimes you just have to accept that your style and the client’s expectations aren’t a good fit. If that’s the reason you’ve been booted from a Love List, there’s not much you can do about it. Practice can strengthen your weak areas, but in the mean time, it’s probably best that you and this particular client have parted ways.
Little Things Matter
If you’re sure that your skills and style were meeting the client’s needs, then maybe it’s time to look at other aspects of the relationship. When you first started writing for this client, you were probably minding your p’s and q’s. You wrote with flare and panache and you checked and rechecked your copy before you sent it on its way. Now, maybe the relationship has gotten too comfortable and you’ve let your standards slip. Could that be the case? Even if your copy is sterling, there are other things to consider. Are you still carefully reading instructions, for instance? Do you still respond quickly to revision requests? Little things can add up to big damage in a writer-client relationship.
At the end of the day, what’s done is done. You’ve lost a client. Now’s the time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. Re-read some of your glowing client reviews if you need to bolster your shaken confidence. Don’t be shy – you earned them! Then, reflect on the experience. What can you learn from it? Do you need to be a little more flexible in your writing style? Practice that. Have you let your grammar skills slip a bit? Re-read “Eats, Shoots & Leaves.” Are there absolutely no good reasons for the breakup? Then you know it’s not your fault. Remind yourself that you were able to get on that Love List once, so you’ll be accepted by others as well. Remembering you have what it takes will give you the courage to sit back down at your computer and submit that next application with confidence.
Kate C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.