You can't win in freelancing. You will be on a role with great paying clients and suddenly yet another one skips the bill. This time it was an Australian client I found on oDesk. They have a wedding site. The client was responsive in the beginning, but after the article disappeared for two weeks. Wrote back saying they loved in, but when I sent a message asking for the payment, they disappeared for another week. Then said they sent the message by accident but would pay for the article that day. No payment. I'm selling the piece elsewhere. That is the main issue with oDesk. You have not guarantee of payment. Elance makes sure clients fund the account before -- no skips. oDesk, however, doesn't care on fixed rate projects if you're paid or not. Unfortunately oDesk has more opportunities and it's likelier to get work there than Elance.
Life of a freelance writer...for sure.