The Interminable Wait After Pitching for a Project

Sunday morning, early awake but still in bed with the electric blanket warming the tootsies, birds twittering and some joker with a shotgun blasting away since 5am on the estate. Why some people think rabbits, pheasants and grouse deserve to be shot at defies any explanation, but I can think of at least one person who I dearly would like to take a pot shot at … whoever the bugger is blasting away right now!

Today is supposed to be a day of rest but I have a writing test to submit for a project, or rather a contract for country profiles for an insurance directory. I posted last week about going in for a meeting with the company in London. I’m happy to report that I’ve made it to the last two writers, though I’m the underdog as my competitor has more relevant experience than I do. At least the project principal is straight forward and completely open with me about the state of play.

After the writing test is submitted, which is really a combination of research and summarising rather than whether Shelley is going to get a run for his money, it just comes down to waiting… and waiting … and of course, more waiting.

This is the largest project I’ve bid on in my brief writing career and though it will not make me rich, it certainly will significantly boost my income to the tune of £30,000 every 18 months. As a writing friend of mine who is also on their panel said very succinctly, “I do this because I need the money!”, and I agree with him 100%.

One of the issues with pitching for larger projects is that I personally tend to get what I call “Big Deal’itis” where my focus is on that project to the exclusion of the rest of the work I need to be churning out and clearing. It’s important to remember, whenever you are starting to bid on projects that otherwise may be outside your normal comfort zone, you still must continue to do the little things and maintain your standards. Until this contract is done and dusted, it will be the little customers with their smaller projects that will be stumping up the heating bill, petrol money and paying for all the other things in life that are not free.

So, today I’ll crack out the writing test and take some time to proof and edit it to the 400 words required. Then I’m cooking lunch for the hungry mites and planning my work schedule for the rest of the week. If the deal comes in, fantastic but until it does it’s business as usual.