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The Deadline Challenge
One of the big challenges of working with other writers is making sure that you all have the same attitude towards deadlines. Every now and then you may have too much work and you may get help from another writer. However, you can’t guarantee that the writer will deliver on the same timescale as you would. I’ve had this happen to me a few times:
There was the writer who pretended to be ill and stopped answering emails till I said I had reassigned the job.
There was the writer who farmed out the job to someone else who didn’t deliver the goods and then had the nerve to warn me about copyright. (My thought, though I didn’t say it, was: ‘If you can sell that to someone else, good luck, but there’s no way I can give that to the client.’)
More recently, I’ve been working with a writer who has a fluid approach to deadlines. The first batch was a day late, which didn’t matter because it was only for checking. The next batch of five came in on the deadline, except that it was a batch of three. The two that I should have received the next day became one, and as I type this (two days after the original deadline), I am still waiting for the final article.
The writer is new, so I am giving him some slack, but I won’t be able to do it for long. My reputation with my clients rests on being able to deliver the agreed job on the agreed date. Yes, there are times when you need to renegotiate a deadline, but I keep them to a minimum, so clients know they will get excellent work delivered on time.Â For me, that’s part of being a professional writer, so any writer who works with me has to work that way too.
There are ways that you can address this, such as setting a slightly earlier deadline for the work to make sure that you receive it on time, but it’s not foolproof. What are your strategies for working with other writers?