Freaking out about a test assignment

I’m a freelance writer and was asked to write a test article for one of the top 15 personal finance sites. If I’m hired, it’ll be an excellent way to add credibility to my name, and they’re offering steady work at more than double my current rate. These are rates that top freelance writers get paid for online writing.

The article was assigned Wednesday afternoon and is due Tuesday. I scheduled to get started today (Friday) since I had other client work to submit on Wednesday and Thursday. But it’s 11:00 am and I haven’t started yet. And I won’t be able to work on the weekend because my husband and I already had a trip scheduled.

I’m putting so much pressure on myself to do a good job because I want to write for them. I feel like it needs to be my best work and when I think about starting to write, or even just starting the research for it, my thoughts are all over the place. I think I’m trying to find the one best thing to write and the best way to write it.

I’m also anxious about the interview I need to conduct for it. Talking on the phone always gives me anxiety, especially with unfamiliar people. And, I like to do the research and have an outline ready so I can ask better questions. But I’m afraid with today being Friday, I won’t have enough time to schedule the interview if I don’t contact them until about 2:00 today.

My thoughts and anxiety are causing me to freeze…not do anything. The exact opposite of what I want to do, and is sure to get me the exact opposite of the result I want.

How can I calm down the anxiety and feel confident that I’m going to give them my best work? How can I stop freaking out about not having enough time to schedule the interview? How can I get my brain to stop putting so much pressure on me by thinking I HAVE to get this client?