Today I gave up on working with a friend. It's been coming, but I didn't want to see it. Basically, we have different work styles. For me, paying work is work I'm grateful for. Sometimes I enjoy the project. Other times, the assignment is a means to an end. For example, the project may open a door to more interesting projects or it could just be a job to pay bills. I also have a strong sense of urgency when I work, which means that I wake up each day and do as much as possible, even when I'm not feeling well (as long as I'm not in danger of dying) or don't feel like working.
While my friend needs the work, he complains when the work is dull. He doesn't make an effort to exceed client expectations and needs to be babysat for every step of the project. And he doesn't seem to understand that when a client needs a project delivered on Day X, you do whatever you have to do to deliver on Day X.
Basically, he doesn't just sit down and do it. And I can't blame him: waking up each day to sit on a chair and write/edit IS hard work, especially when you don't even have a smidgeon of interest in the topic at hand. It's tempting to take as many smoke breaks as possible. To go out to lunch with a friend. Or take a nap. But you can't do any of those things because in the end, writing is a job like any other. And if you don't work, you don't get paid.
So I've decided that my friend is on his own when it comes to his fledgeling freelance writing career. I will ask how he is doing, but I'm not passing leads or work to him anymore. I have other freelance writer/editor friends who need the work and have proven to be more committed to delivering a good product, on time, without complaining the whole time they're working on the project.
I feel a bit sad to be cutting my friend out like this. But working with him is very stressful and quite frankly, takes out more out of me than the benefit of his help.
I hope that other people don't feel like that about me though.Because word of mouth, referrals from friends and other freelancers are a very important element to landing work.