The Wide World of Writing Projects, aka "Neurosis 101"

I don't blog about clients. Bad for business. Not that I have anything bad to say about them (I have really great clients), but not everyone is comfortable seeing their project's details splayed about on a blog for the whole world--or my 10 devoted readers--to see. 

Not blogging about clients is probably for my own protection as well. A new or potential client doesn't need to stumble across my blog and read about how I'm making stuff up as I go, I went to noon yoga instead of working on their deadline, or that one of my cats barfed on their project draft. (Not that any of that happens around here. Uh-uh. Nope. NEVER.)

However, I did have an "incident" occur long enough ago that I think it's now safe to blog about it. 

A writer friend--someone much smarter and more talented than me--was busy with projects and couldn't take on a job, so she recommended me to the client as a replacement. It was a rush job--huge amount of work, one-week deadline. I had a 10 minute meeting with the client, was handed a mountain's worth of papers, and off I went. 

I will say this for myself: I am a conscientious worker. My need to please works to a client's advantage as I aim to go above and beyond what's called for to prove what an invaluable, wonderful, treasure of a worker I am. 

So I write this 15-page report and send it off with an e-mail that I've cleared my schedule and am available all day to work on edits, if need be. And I wait. And wait. 


Two days go by. This project was huge. Why haven't I heard anything? My neurosis kicks in. They must hate it. And me. They're probably e-mailing my friend, asking her why she recommended such a loser to them.

I lecture myself to stop being dramatic. I know I did good work. I send another e-mail, just to follow-up and make sure I gave them everything they need. Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.


That's it. I go over the deep end. Not only do they hate me, they can't be bothered to e-mail me back because they are in the midst of a major damage control iniative, caused by my lackluster performance, and they don't know how to give me feedback without damaging my psyche for life.

I turn to Blair--Blair the verb--and ask if I'm overreacting. What does Mr. Cheerful say? "Huh. That is weird you haven't heard from them. That doesn't sound good."

AAAAAAIIIEEEE!!! If Blair thinks it's bad, it must be 200x worse than I thought!

Finally, the following week, I get a response: "We mailed your report out last week. Looked good! Thanks so much for all your help. We'll be in touch soon as we have several other projects we'd like to hire you for."

Seriously? Suddenly the earth rights itself and I'm floating on air. That's right, I AM good. I should probably up my rates. You know, being a superstar stud writer like I am. 

Until the next project comes in and I fall back into neuroses, wondering if I've managed to pull one off, yet again. 

What exactly is the age when full and unswerving self-esteem kicks in? Let's hope I'm approaching it. 

Until then, I need to go mop some cat barf off a project.