It's bound to happen sometime.
When you become a freelance writer, you take on a lot of responsibility. Each project has its own share. The extent may change all the time, but it is still there. A moment will arrive (or may be it already has) when you make a mistake that seriously complicates or even compromises your writing assignment. The danger for you as the freelancer is three-fold. There the possibility that this occurrence is just the latest one in a line of blunders that have marked your freelancing career - and it may be symptomatic of an unprofessional attitude. Next, you might lose out on future opportunities for work because of the delays and problems that characterized your project relationship with the client. The third one is the biggest: you receive a request for a cancellation and/or refund from the client. This third one really hits you where it counts - in your wallet.
You have a few options you can take. You can either shrug it off and move on, perhaps making a future mistake or blunder inevitable, or take this opportunity afforded by the end of the project to reassess what it is you are doing. (I will admit, that I'm a culprit in this scenario. Thus, I'm having examine my working process and decide what I can do to improve it and to ensure that nothing like what just happened, ever happens again.) For those of you, my fellow freelancers, this may be true as well. You might be wondering which road you will take.
It's easy to tuck your tail between your legs and keep going down that path, bumbling along until you get right back where you started. Who wants to be under the unnecessary press, being crushed under a furious writing pace, just get everything fixed and up to speed? Folks, I just don't want to do this anymore.
A New Course Ahead
Those of you who may be reading this might have also caught some of my earlier posts on freelance writing. I've said it many times that there is a right way to do this. Now, sometimes, even when you know better, you end up falling into the same sort of traps you've harped on to others. I'll admit I've done just that.
The challenge, though, is to step up, take responsibility, but then move on. We writers can just write on to a new page - a new chapter - in our writing careers. Yet, this requires that all of us take the proper steps. For me, it is not burdening myself with work that I cannot possibly finish on time, when considering my peculiar stay-at-home dad/freelance writer juggling act. I have to be more creative that that and so do you!
It doesn't have to be some big epiphany where you decide to skip out of freelancing and become a novelist. No, it may be just a series of small decisions that help refocus your path. You may be ready to take another step into uncharged writing opportunities. That's great. It will be a way for you to grow more a writer while also getting paid for your time.
Then again, the hope of securing better pay through new writing directions may be in your immediate future. Who isn't looking for better pay these days? (The economy is making it tough for everybody out there, writers included.)
Whatever you decide, now is the time. You cannot afford to mess around. Your future career as a freelance writer may be at stake.
Get On With It
That's what it's about isn't it? You can't be in front of the computer screen sitting on your hands, folks. Get on with it and go find new ways to be a writer. Go be the kind of professional that you are despite the blunders and mistakes you've made lately. The main point is to believe that you have what it takes to be a freelance writer - and keep writing, for the love of Shakespeare, keep writing!