I love being a freelance writer. I truly do. There is very little I do not like about the job, and even those things are very minor annoyances at best. It is a job I enjoy doing and it’s work that I am proud of and passionate about. I honestly can’t see doing any other type of work that would make me this enthusiastic about working.
And as you’ve been expecting, there’s a “but” to that sentence: the signed written agreement. People get weird about having to sign a dated agreement. Clients act as if by signing a piece of paper that literally says “I am going to write the thing and then you’re going to pay me” that I’m somehow tricking them into purchasing a car.
The signed agreement is necessary. As a freelance writer I am my company. I am my boss. I am my employees. The work I do is in a Word document and then emailed. My works does not leave much of a paper trail and every transaction, even from those I have worked for already in the past, carry with them the small possibility of someone getting over on me.
I have not even seen the majority of my clients. 99% of my job is done via receiving an request from my website, discussing the terms over email, and then me completing the job. It’s a fast process; I would venture to say much quicker than hiring someone to perform a service at your house even. In a matter of hours I have the job done. And if I don’t have something in writing holding them responsible for payment, what’s to guarantee that I’m getting paid for my work once I hit “send”?