What's on the iPod: The Sky is Crying by Stevie Ray Vaughan
What I'm reading: The Skull Beneath the Skin by P. D. James
It was a little coincidental that I was listening to The Sky is Crying yesterday - I wasn't shedding tears, but tension is building in a current project. Remember the "We didn't use it so we'll just pass on that invoice" people? Yesterday I had to get firm as the wheel-spinning was nearly out of control. I've put a number of edits and one rewrite into a small, usually quite easy project. The trouble is delivery of expectations. It's filtering through more than one person down to me. Any other time I'd be okay with revisions as I do charge hourly. This time, knowing that last time was a problem, I'm feeling my spine going rigid. I will not accept "We didn't use it" this time. And I will end the relationship if need be. I follow through on my word.
And it's proof that I need to market harder in order to replace this client before the expected happens.
That brings up the topic of expectations. Clients, writers, this is a collaboration. Both sides need to be delivering something to the other in order for this to work. Let's start with clients.
Clients can expect writers:
- to meet deadlines
- to deliver on or close to what was expected
- to partner with you to get the message right
- to be competent
Writers can expect clients:
- to pay invoices on time
- to give enough information to get the job done
- to allow adequate time for the job to be done properly
- to allow for revisions
That's in a perfect world. And for the most part, our worlds are pretty darned perfect. It only goes sour when one side of the equation fails to fulfill one or more of the expectations.
Clients and writers protect themselves from the let-down by signing contracts. Writers, if you come across any client who refuses to sign a contract, refuse to work with them. There's no reason why a contract should cause anyone to feel strong aversion - unless they're intending something less than honest.
Writers, what else do you expect from your clients? Clients, what do you look for in your writers?