When spending a lot of time searching for more work, it’s tempting to take the first writing job offer that comes your way. But should you really be saying yes to anything and everything? Before accepting a new gig, ask yourself these five questions.
Do you have the time?
This will be one of the easiest questions for you to answer. After you’ve found out more about the writing project and what the expected scope will be, you can figure out if it fits with your existing workload. Along with the total workload, don’t forget to consider the start date, end date, and any important checkpoints along the way.
Does the project interest you?
It’s much, much more rewarding to say yes to a new writing job when you’re excited about it. Is the subject you’ll be writing about genuinely interesting to you? Are you looking forward to researching, writing, and editing for this particular topic? Perhaps you really like the client or company and that makes it easier to accept the gig. Of course, depending on where you are in your writing career, the answer to this question will have more weight. If you’re just starting out, you may not have the option to be as selective yet.
Does the contact seem easy to work with?
Nobody wants to end up with a nightmare client. If your interactions with the contact person are pleasant, professional, and prompt, that’s a great sign they’ll be easy to work with. However, if their responses are always delayed or they seem to have outlandish expectations, your red flags should be going up. Agreeing to work with this person is probably not worth the future headaches.
Will you be paid fairly?
Money is always a big factor when it comes to writing work, so make sure the client is willing to pay your usual rates. Along with matching your own rate, check to see if the compensation they’re offering is on pace with industry standards. Don’t shortchange yourself by keeping your rates too low!
Does the project align with goals for your writing career?
If you’re trying to become a distinguished writer and interviewer for national magazines, accepting a blog writing gig for a local beauty salon doesn’t get you much closer to your overall goal. Sure, you can argue that writing is writing, but the more focus on you put on your writing goals, the sooner you’ll achieve them.
You don’t have to answer yes to every one of these questions in order to go ahead with a new project. Sometimes a positive response to only three or four of the questions will do. Or perhaps some factors mean more to you than others. For example, you might be willing to accept a little less pay if it’s a project for the client of your dreams. The important part is taking some time to think through these questions and carefully evaluate each job before you take it.