Writers and Disappointment go together like PB & J

05 May


I write this after a very disappointing experience. I took on a ghosting job, worked on it for over 7 months only to have the client stiff me after they received the first draft. The client is sitting nice – they essentially have the “work” while I sit here at my desk feeling like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.

This isn’t the first time a client has stiffed me and, sadly, it won’t be the last. For some reason folks feel it is okay not to pay the writer much of the time. I think that perhaps if we had some protections in place this might not happen so much. Sure we use contracts but sometimes those aren’t as good as the paper they are written on. They are supposed to be legal and binding but we all know that taking a client to court is expensive and, chances are, they still aren’t going to pay you.

Here’s the thing though…should I stop taking on ghosting clients now that I have gotten stiffed? No, I should never quit because as much as some folks will screw you there are others who truly need your services. I like to think that this client will have to deal with karma in the end. Good things don’t come to people who do things like this. It still doesn’t take the sting out of it though.

My advice to those of you who ghost write or are thinking of ghost writing….be careful. Make sure that you are covered at every turn. Use a contract, get your payment in increments and make sure that you deliver the first draft in person. My mistake this time was not doing that. I e-mailed the client the first draft on the promise of a payment which never came. Writing is a tough business, perhaps the toughest in terms of getting the respect you should but it is worth it in the end. You do have to learn to live with some disappointment though so understand that going in. Remember…one dragon at a time.



© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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2 responses to “Writers and Disappointment go together like PB & J

  1. kaylovelace

    May 5, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    Get a Merchant account, B of A provides as low as $9.00 a month and take half down before you start your project. Then send them monthly updates with questions regarding revisions, and charge their credit card on file for 1/4th the project, 1/4th and so forth. This will give you money up front and if they are not really serious they will bail out before you’ve invested your blood sweat and tears.

    Hugs my friend,


    Sent from my iPad


    • thewritersadvice

      May 6, 2023 at 1:49 pm

      That is very good advice Kay. It is always a challenge to live the life of a freelancer.


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