The Seven Deadly Phrases of Freelancers

Churning out article after article can be tough on the brain of a busy writer, leading to a delirious state of overconfidence that turns a writing stint into a cross between paragraph structure and the Hindenburg. Here are some of the most familiar phrases uttered while crouched over keyboards, forming yet another sparkling thesis on the merits of toilet- training cats or lead generation in turnip sales:

1.) Fifteen minutes should be plenty of time to finish that 3,000 word eBook.

No, no it really won’t. Unless you’ve got a Tardis or a Delorean, be prepared to start honestly assessing your ability to turn out coherent sentences in a reasonable amount of time. If you continually substitute rocket fuel for gasoline, you’re going to have a fireworks show for a cranium instead of an engine.

2.) I need to finish this article, but…ooh, Farmville.

Angry Birds, World of Warcraft and distractions like Facebook’s game du jour are fatal for productivity. Writers are experts at the art of procrastination, and these games tend to hamstring writing motivation from the first click. Just say no!

3.) A comma goes wherever I take a breath in a sentence.

While the advice of grade school English teachers carries students through graduation, this particular chestnut has sent editors into conniption fits for years. Research your particular comma question and figure out where commas should actually go instead of hyperventilating your way through paragraphs.

4.) This client has rejected and rated my work poorly before, but this time will be different!

Some writers would probably do well to understand that, to paraphrase a book here, they’re just not into you. If a client didn’t like the style of your work several times before, don’t risk your quality score or success rate forcing the issue.

5.) I don’t know anything about string theory-powered hybrid engines, but I’ll just pop on Wikipedia after I grab it.

If someone’s looking for cheap article writing services on a very particular subject, it stands to reason that a degreed expert in the field might not be available. This doesn’t mean that the client deserves to get something that was randomly slapped together after five minutes of scanning a single source on the subject.

6.) I know I should back up my work but…

As any writer, who has ever howled in frustration over a computer malfunction can attest, backing up a work in progress is vital. Many writers continually tempt fate by avoiding a save until the last word is typed. Don’t be that writer.

7.) I really need money but my site has no work.

A common complaint in the freelancing community, statements like this are typically met with a chorus of agreement, rather than encouragement to diversify efforts. If you don’t have at least a handful of places to turn to for work, you’re asking for trouble when the well occasionally runs dry.

Delany M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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