First, I offer you this to make this post less of a downer: “Callin’ in Sick Today”
When you are a ‘lancer, can you really call in sick? Depends how bad it is. If you are so sick and weak you lack the mental acuity to do your work in respectable form, well, you have no choice. I was in that state Monday, with a fever probably about 104º F. For you of metric countries, much above that and you have to be hospitalized. There was no way I could work. Sitting up was hard enough.
I could postpone stuff like this, for example. While I’m heartened that people read the blog, I don’t think anyone’s going to unsubscribe if there aren’t any posts for a week. I would have to postpone or cancel on-site stuff, such as a meeting or teleconference. But some of what you have to do, if you can do–even if you have to proofread for an hour, rest for an hour, proof for another hour, etc.–you must do. And for Tuesday and Wednesday, that was what I did. Could barely even eat, nothing sounded good. Lived on mixed OJ and club soda, and cleaned out all the popsicles Deb didn’t eat.
But it got done. And that’s the big deal. If you have a long rapport with a client, proven track record, maybe it doesn’t harm you to have a crisis that delays the result. But when the project is a biography of a nonagenarian who is understandably eager to see the final product, for a first time client, well, the amount of delay one might accept is very limited.
And since you’re a ‘lancer, you do it until it’s done. Your career depends on that approach. When work is there, do the work. You can play Candy Crush or nap some other time.