What should a freelance writer do when she’s contacted by a designer with a tight deadline but she’s not in the office? Turn the work down and leave them in a fix? Of course not.

This designer emailed me this morning from a creative agency that uses me often. He was in a bind. It was 9.30am and his client wanted last year’s e-shot redesigned by 11am. The copy had to be rewritten first, so there was very little time.

This wouldn’t normally be a problem for me. Unfortunately, I’d popped into town to pick up my new specs and was now in the car in Waitrose car park about to go home. It would take too long to drive to the office, compose the copy and send it by the deadline. All I had with me was my mobile.

Time to hit that deadline.

As a freelance, what would you do?

No self-respecting freelancer misses a deadline if they can help it. So, here’s what I did. I dashed into Waitrose and bought a notepad. Then I sat in the car, thinking up copy lines and writing them down as shoppers clattered past.

Once I was happy with the wording, I typed it up in Word on my iPhone 7 Plus (fiddly but possible) and emailed it to the designer. The total time from email to copy sent was 45 minutes. Outcome: one relieved designer and, let’s hope, an impressed client.

Fast turnaround: a common freelance challenge

Now you might argue that the client shouldn’t expect copy and design to be turned around so fast. But at times like these, it doesn’t help to question why the rush is on. It just is. Come up with a solution as soon as you can – and hope the designer remembers your speedy response next time there’s an editorial emergency.