A Line in the Sand

Do you have boundaries? I do. But it’s taken me years to have the courage to

  • Say “No.”
  • Say “I won’t do that.”
  • Say “You need to pay me if I do that.”

Three recent examples of each:

Say No

I had this phone call exchange recently


Natasha: Hi, Olivia, I got your name off ProCopywriters. I’d like you to write my son’s A level essays.


Me: You’d like me to help your son to write his essays…you know, improve his grammar and spelling etc?


Natasha: No, I’d like you to write his essays for him. Small pause. Is that a no?


Me: Yes, I guess it is.


Natasha: Well, thanks Olivia. (Phone goes dead)



Say I won’t do that


Email ping pong exchange where I’d asked to have a (complimentary) Zoom call.


Me: I need to know exactly what services you want to offer if you want me to quote, so a quick chat would be great.


Potential client: Did you read the brief?


Me: Of course I did, it’s just I’m not sure exactly what services you are offering. I’m sure a quick chat would sort things out.


PC: Did you see our website?


Me: Yes, I did and it confused me even more, I’m afraid.


PC: So, can you give me a quote?



Say you need to pay me if I do that

 This week, a food business has been in touch. Long list of copywriting tasks they want on a monthly basis – all fine. Then could I just do a small test: two emails, some ideas for future newsletters, that sort of thing. Delighted to do it. But I will charge. I have over twelve years’ professional writing experience. My work if not all over the web, is on my website. A client paid me £300 for a test menu last week; that is roughly what I charge.


Do you charge for samples or tests? Do you say No? Let me know in the comments.