Matthew Stibbe at the Bad Language blog posts on how to guarantee your writing project will fail.
He makes six good points. Here’s the top one:
Don’t give a brief. Or a bad one. Or an incomplete one. I’ve said it before, but almost every bad project can be traced back to a bad brief, so this is your go-to screw up if you want to guarantee an epic fail.
I agree. I’ve just started a writing business here in New Zealand and while I haven’t yet developed a standard brief template, I can already see getting a formal brief can help enormously.
A good brief doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It does need to be clear.