Title: Shifting Deadlines

Word Count:

What do you do when a client moves up his deadline? Do you panic? Or, are you prepared for life’s contingencies. Having a rock solid plan in place will help you manage shifting deadlines which are all to common with this business.

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Article Body:
As a writer who works on multiple projects at any given time, I attempt to pin down a deadline from my clients even if one is not stated. Why? Because, the “I am in no hurry for these” statements invariably becomes, “are you done with the articles?” How embarrassing is that if I make the assumption that a project could be put off, especially if my client wants it now?

I have learned to do the following: as soon as I get a project I ask for a specific timeline for when the job should be completed. If the client wants to receive proofs by a certain time, they will. I will also ask them to return to me the reworked article by a certain time too, especially if the “final copy” deadline is fast approaching. No one likes to respond to a panicked, “where is my finished copy?!” statement especially if the hang up is on their end. Regardless of the reason, the burden falls on you, the writer, if there are any snags.

Fortunately, most jobs I do are “in progress” almost as soon as I accept the assignment. Generally, I start my research right away and then I start working on an outline of the article. Once satisfied with the outline, I craft a rough draft and, finally, I write my final copy. Sometimes I take a break between the various steps in order to get more information, give my mind a rest, or simply to attend to other matters.

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So, if I receive an urgent request [or demand!] for the completed project I can usually respond very quickly with at least some of the work immediately. Human nature, being what it is, I can expect that even agreed upon deadlines will shift around from time to time. How I respond to these types of demands is indicative to how well I work with my clients.

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