Friday, September 4, 2015
Just Say No
One of the biggest reasons work doesn't get done is that there may simply be too much to do. However, this rarely happens to a beginning writer. But one who’s been in the writing biz for a while can easily be overwhelmed.
Sometimes the biggest favor you can do for everyone involved is to just say "No." When the war on drugs, the Government adopted the phrase “Just say no.” But that can be a terribly hard thing to do, especially if you’re a freelance writer who lives from one project to the next. Saying no just may mean tearing up your meal ticket.
To get control of this situation, take these four steps:
● Know what's being asked of you and why. Determine if you’re in a position to handle a job. Do you have the expertise? And more importantly, do you have the time? If the answer to both questions is yes, then you understand the request and how it affects you.
● Refuse the request—say "No." Sure, saying "No" is easier said than done, but just start with an "n" sound, and then put your mouth in the shape of an "o" and say "No, I'm sorry, I can't do it."
● Follow your refusal with logical reasons. Simply and clearly state the reasons that you can't do the project. "No, I'm sorry. I can't do it because I have three other commitments." Some editors will take your “No” as a bargaining tactic and up the ante. But stick to your guns. If you accept higher pay but have to rush to get the job done and make mistakes, then you may put the relationship you have with that editor at risk.
● If you can’t do the job, suggest some alternatives. If you understand the what and why behind the request, suggesting another way or another writer who may be able to do it is easier. "No. I'm sorry. I can't. but so and so knows just as much about that subject as I do and he may be able to do the job."
It’s important to keep the solid relationships you have with editors rather than risk losing them because you end up doing a bad job on a project Learning to say “No” will bolster your professionalism and encourage editors to call you when they have another project.