TENSIONS OF A DESIGNER
Speaking from the place where I've taken every job offered for any price offered, I understand this tension very well, and still to this day when times get tight and the money looks good.
From experience with this tension, I've learned the power of my no's and the freedom and peace it has brought me. I have worked under the most unreal deadlines, with unreal expectations for a end price that barely broke even sometimes. The clients that I've taken that are like this are usually the ones that critique the hardest, always want more for less and work you to death on your spare time. Ironically enough, they're the hardest to find at time of payment or their off time, but that's whole other post at a later time...
My best advice, take clients that you trust and that trust you. The more understanding you have upfront of each other, the longer the relationship lasts and the better end product. Many of my clients started that way, and now they're family to me. Even when times are tight, learn to say the right yes's and no's to keep you mentally excited for work and to be able to do so without bitterness or resentment. I've learned that the more clients you have that are rotten, the more you attract. The more you let that in in dire circumstances, even more follow.
When you say yes to a client you are with them, they join your family. I've never really had a client I did one project for and never heard from them again, so when choosing clients do your research, and choose you jobs carefully.