What's your worst writing experience? How do you handle bad clients?
I had an experience where a gentleman asked me to write an article for his magazine. I did so and submitted per our agreement. He then requested multiple re-writes (not a big deal) and then changed the article topic completely. At one point I'd written him several completely separate articles as well as shown him my portfolio. I asked for a 50% deposit before I wrote him yet another article. He declined and stated he couldn't pay until he had the final product. At this point I figured he had no intention of paying me so I politely declined writing further.
What's your bad client story?
I understand your frustration. Freelance writing can sometimes leave us vulnerable if a client refuses to pay and you have already spent hours on an item, delivered it to them, and they say it isn't what they are looking for, want multiple rewrites only to say it still isn't right. We have no way of knowing they aren't really going to use it but just trying to get your work for nothing.
I have only had this happen once thankfully. I offered to rewrite the item, but they declined and said they had changed their mind. Because I mainly write poetry or short stories, I have other outlets for my writing and could use it elsewhere. If they don't pay they don't have any rights to the work. Getting a deposit is a good idea if you can get it.
This is not directly to the point of your question, but you are very kind to call him a gentleman. He isn't one. Sorry you had that experience with such a person. An old saying warns us, "There's one in every crowd."
Edited a man's book for him, pointed out errors in basic logic (that a family playing paintball prepped preteens for taking out armed gangs later on) and incorrect facts (for example, meeting with the Governor of NYC)
Finished the work, sent it to him, never was paid. Couldn't get payment, and the amount was too small to be worth hiring a lawyer for interstate small claims court
Then he published it on Amazon Kindle and I still couldn't get payment from him
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