Sometimes being fired was completely my own fault, and I was able to accept responsibility for it and move on. Other times, the client and I reached a mutual agreement that things weren't working out. These rare occurrences were disappointing but not necessarily painful.
And then there were the last class of clients. (I can't believe I'm using these people and "class" in the same word.) They were hard if not impossible to please. They pushed boundaries, wanting far more work than the contract specified. And they usually walked away just before a payment came due.
I got blindsided by one of these types a few weeks ago. We had contracted for me to write a 20,000 word manual. Almost before the printer ink was dry on the contract, he upped the word count to 30,000 - with no extra pay.
I turned in the first section exactly as he had requested it. He paid me a pittance, then decided he didn't like my style after all. He disappeared, taking his business elsewhere. And that was that. Hours of labor and thousands of words gone to waste.
I wanted to cry. Instead I got to work on these damage control steps that you can use if you're ever fired as a freelancer.
1. Count to 10...or 100...or 100,000
Take some time to cool off, as much as you need. While flaming him to a crisp might sound like a good idea, remember that the freelance writing world can be a small place indeed. This client's input could keep you from getting a better job, so always try to respond like a professional.