As much as you may try to not let your personal life interfere with your professional life, sometimes it is unavoidable.

When a crisis hits, working through it can be extremely tough.

Many freelancers become unsure of what to do and how to handle the situation.

What exactly do you tell your clients if a personal crisis causes you to miss a deadline?

The most important thing you can do is to just be honest.

1. Be honest

If a real crisis actively affects your freelance work, it helps to be honest.

It is my experience that people are often understanding and kind – especially if you are generally reliable (as you probably are).

You needn’t go into specifics: There are some situations about which you may use to wish discretion, or retain your privacy.

Fortunately, you can find generic phraseology that doesn’t go into too much detail. Reasonable explanations for various circumstances include:

“There is a family crisis.”“I lost a loved one.”“I have to arrange a funeral.”“Pressing personal circumstances have temporarily changed my schedule.”“I am caring for an ill family member.”“I am dealing with some serious health problems.”

Make sure that you calmly and honestly express when you’ll be available again, or how much additional time you’re requesting on a deadline.”

See the other 2 tips at Freelancers Union.