Some freelance writers accept assignments and projects without getting anything in writing. This is a big mistake and a red flag. If you’re approached by a publication who wants you to write for them, demand a signed contract. If the publisher is flippant about it, insist on getting something in writing. If they don’t want to use a contract or put something in writing, run as fast as you can.
Unfortunately, writers will meet unsavory business people. These people don’t have scruples and will take advantage of you if you let them. Stop writing for these people and find real clients! You could be spending time writing your book or working with honest people. Don’t wast your time with dishonest and untrustworthy people because it will do you more harm than good.
Most publishers will send you a contract. If they don’t, be wary of writing for them. Before you accept an offer, do your homework. Look at Preditors and Editors and other websites just like it. Post a discussion on LinkedIn or Facebook and see what other writers have to say about a publication. Make an informed decision because it will save you time, money, and aggravation in the long run.
If you don’t use a contract or proposal, your client may not pay you. You could use a collection agency but you will have to pay for it. You could take your client to small claims court but that could drain your energy. Unless you have something in writing, it could be difficult to prove in a court of law that a client owes you money. Your emails could be evidence but it may be a tough sell. Going to court is very draining. You could avoid all of this unnecessary drama if you use a contract.
Please make informed decisions about the people you work with and the assignments you accept. Stop saying “yes” to every offer or project that is presented to you. You may be disappointed that you had to turn down a magazine but it could be worth it in the end.
What’s stopping you from using contracts and proposals? Share.