The dream is always the same….

You’ve been working for twenty-eight straight hours. The deadline was tight, but you really knocked this project out of the park. It may be the best piece of writing you have ever produced. You turn it in to the editor with calm confidence and head off to a well-earned cup of iced chai and a scone. Then the phone rings. You expect to hear compliments, even adulation. They’ve got to be blown away by this. Then you hear the dreaded words. “This isn’t going to work. We need revisions.” You wake up in a cold sweat, clutching your pillow and shaking…

Modification Therapy

Successful freelance writers don’t take revisions personally. When a client wants a change, it is not usually because the first version was wrong, but because they have a clearer idea of what they want than they were able to communicate to you. Excessive changes can be a problem, but some changes are to be expected and even embraced. When a client asks for revisions, it is not a repudiation of your skills; it is an attempt to make your product fit their needs.

Customer Satisfaction

Revisions are not pleasant, especially on a project that you feel you’ve done your best on. The client’s needs, however, are what drove them to hire you in the first place. It is reasonable to defend your work if you feel that the client’s requested revisions aren’t in their best interests, but arguing with a client is rarely a good idea. In most cases, it is best to give them what they want and move on to the next project.

Writer Satisfaction

If you feel that the client is forcing you to severely diminish your own work, the best option is to not work with that client again. If they call back wanting more work, simply tell them that you are swamped and recommend another writer. They need never know that you can’t stand working with them. Telling a client off may feel good at the time, but it can come back to hurt you later by getting your work or your attitude badmouthed to other potential clients. Just cut your ties and move on.

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