Pet peeves: Particular and continual annoyances.
We all have them, those little things that bother us.
I have been writing professionally since college, and have been running my editorial business since 2011. In that time, I’ve developed a number of pet peeves related to my profession, and I’d like to share them with you. I’ve included explanations as to why they are such an annoyance.
7 Freelance Writing Pet Peeves
- Clients scared away by contracts: Everything is going great. You and a future client are on the same page. The project is exciting. You have the experience and skills necessary to carry it out. You understand the goals and objectives. But then it’s time to get down to business. You send the potential client a contract, and that’s the end of the story.
- Clients who don’t think they have to pay for revisions: You talk to your client about the project. You both agree. The contract is signed, and you begin work. Sometimes you’ve even finished the project. Then the client changes the scope of work and doesn’t expect to have to pay for it.
- People who think writing is easy: This always comes from those outside the field – well-meaning friends and family, aspiring writers and even potential clients. Good, effective, quality writing is not easy and, in the case of fiction, takes years to perfect.
- People who think publishing a book is quick and easy: Again, this always comes from those outside the field as well as those who self-publish. Traditional publishing is a long, drawn out process that can take months if not years.
- Clients who won’t follow professional advice: Imagine you take your time to precisely craft a client’s webpage or to polish a page the client has written, only to find that when the page goes live, it has been altered. That scenario is fine if you’re writing for a periodical where it’s assumed edits will be made before publication, but not acceptable if it’s a private company that specifically hired you for your expertise. The situation becomes even worse when the changes the client made are grammatically incorrect, confusing or wordy. It puts your reputation as a writer and editor at stake.
- People who assume writing is my hobby because it’s theirs: There are many people who write as a hobby or as a means of self expression. For this reason, it is difficult for some to accept others make a living writing. And, of course, let us not forget those who think writing isn’t a “real” job.
- Ignoring emails and voicemails: This is pandemic across the globe in all industries. Some people simply refuse to answer messages, and if this person is your client, it makes your life that much more difficult.
Some of these topics have already been addressed on “A Writer’s Life,” and the rest will appear during February and March.
Do you have any pet peeves in your profession?