An editor who SRN (Shall Remain Nameless) was dishing to me about another freelancer. "She's not that good, but she gets tons of work, and I finally figured out why." Nu? "It's because she hands everything in three days early. Everything. Early."
Holy mother of mercy. Of course that's the secret. My entire career, I think I've stuck to, like, half a deadline. When I see the pink notation on my iCal that something is due today, that is my cue to start looking for experts. I see my deadlines as suggestions, silly ones. I've left more exasperated editors in my wake than James Frey. I've caused more tummyaches than green apples. I'm exaggerating, of course... a little.
Being early! I know bad writers who flourish because they're great self-marketers, but it never occurred to make myself the earlybird! That is effing genius!
In an effort to make my first deadline after this revelation, I included the due date in my article's filename. Where it stared me in the face the whole time I was working. SPLA-DAM. = I just handed it in on time. So. We'll see if that continues to work. If it does, I am going to be a LOT LESS POSTY in the very near future.