It is hard to make an income doing freelance writing. A lot of work is done on spec.
Definition (from www.investorwords.com)
Doing a job without any guarantee of being paid, in the hope of winning future business.
Writing to develop ideas and create a product that in the future can be sold.
Writers that write on spec do so because they love to write. Their writing isn't financially driven alone.
Where a writer doesn't get paid is in doing research, bidding time, conversing with the client, editing and re-editing time, in the administration of uploading to a potential buyer, etc. Even once a project is sent in it could be rejected or not picked up.
There can be other issues too: One writer had a buyer come back and demand a collection of her rough notes. There was no agreement suggesting she would have to comply if requested. The only reason she might comply would be to smooth the waters and keep the customer--and on spec proposition.
The customer had not suggested he'd pay her for the rough notes or the time it would take to send him the rough notes. This writer was in a bind. Worst of all, the writer spent precious time she could have been writing and perhaps earning money elsewhere on worrying and trying to figure out this unpaid problem.
If I were her I would have asked for additional funding to do this or just moved on and not complied. Why should writers appease people for free? Just my thoughts.
A NEW DICTIONARY
On another note, with all the new dictionaries springing up I found this one which I can see meets a niche of its own. Should be very useful: http://www.investorwords.com