I told a client no today, and it was probably the best choice I’ve made in my freelancing career.
There are a lot of times, more often than not, that I’ve taken on a project that I didn’t really want. ‘Sure, I’ll write this story I have no interest in.’ ‘Of course, I’ll edit this piece that needs about five more re-writes before it even gets to editing.’
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
It gets very tiring, after a while, always telling your clients yes. It gets to a point where your heart isn’t in the work. Always accepting work you don’t want. Continuously having your skills devalued for work that isn’t necessarily up to par with here you are. It can be very draining and discouraging, day after day doing tasks you just absolutely have no passion for.
I was approached today with such a project. Two, in fact. Ghost writing for an old client of mine who I didn’t have much issue in working with in the past, but the subject matter wasn’t what I wanted to write about, and the restrictions on how I could write were ones that… I couldn’t really circumvent. I already knew that it wasn’t going to be a fun situation. I knew that the project wasn’t up for my skill level and that I wouldn’t be able to produce my best work. I decided to say no.
The anxiety, of course, ate through me – as well as my poor inner mouth as I chewed through it, waiting for a response. I got one, of course. The initial urging push to continue on and then the frustrated huff and puff of someone not getting their way. The final one word response to my continued (polite) declining of work.
Oddly, that infuriated one-word response was immensely satisfying.