Excuses: making them to yourself
You mentioned people not “getting back”.
This is what I, as an editor and TV producer, label “the old gettin’-back-to-me excuse”.
That’s all it is, a miserable excuse. It’s not a reason for not writing. Someone is not getting back to you, and so you’re not doing your work because someone else is holding you up. It’s an excuse for not getting your work done.
Start off on the premise that NO ONE gets back to you.
In your own personal life your relatives and friends fail to “get back” to you. Every day YOU fail to “get back” to loved ones. Plumbers, electricians and others who want to make money from you — fail to “get back” to you.
NEVER be a person who says, thinks or believes that you are waiting for someone to “get back”.
Phone them again. Email them, send them a letter, call their spouse. Be super polite and ever-friendly, but be persistent.
And finally, as you have read in my famous Rule 5:
Many new freelancers have The Great Excuse locked up neatly: “I’m waiting for someone to get back to me.” They’re always waiting for someone else, so they always have an excuse to themselves for not yet writing. If you can’t get information, find it elsewhere. If you can’t get a quote from Expert A get it from Expert B. If the idea for this article isn’t working out, drop it and change to a different article.