Home > Questions to Ponder, Writing and Poetry > Whether Feast or Famine

Whether Feast or Famine


Every writer knows what “feast or famine” refers to. For those who don’t, I define the phrase to mean “having more commissioned work than you’re comfortable with or having work that no one wants to buy.”

Of course, it could also translate as “Having tons of work that sits unwanted on your hard drive or not having any fresh ideas for new stories/articles/essays, etc.”

Take your pick; it all comes down to work.

I’m in a different definition slot. I have tons of work sitting on the hard drive that I haven’t yet submitted. (That marketing feat is being rectified, but on a malingerer’s schedule.) At the same time, I have too many ideas for new work to be written. I also have few jobs coming into my financial cache right now.

Couple all of that with doing three blogs on a regular basis, another that needs to get back onto a regular basis, four social networks aside from Facebook and you can see that time is precise to me.

On my work board at the moment I have: two YA fantasies that share a back burner, one women’s mystery novel, three books of poetry, and four books about my road trip last winter (all in various stages of planning/work).

I’m also taking two writing courses. Once in a while I take an afternoon off just to decompress and get away from the house. I still feel guilty about that.

In the near future, I expect to receive the first of many acceptances for work that’s already been submitted. I’m trying to use optimism here. Don’t rain on my parade. I have the right to anticipate paying gigs, too.

Feast or famine is a constant within a writer’s life, if the laments echoing across the internet from writers in various genres are to be believed. Obviously, I’ve joined the ranks and hadn’t paid attention while the process took hold. I really must pay more attention.

Several weeks ago, I vowed to make a determined effort to polish and submit at least two stories/poems/essays/articles, etc. each week. I’ve begun the process of whittling down my backlog of waiting work. Within the daily work allowance, time began taking on a sense of scarcity. Scheduling became paramount to allow for everything to fit into a day’s time allotment.

Scheduling continues to flaunt its capricious nature. I have trouble with dictating time slots for LIFE. I need some of that, too.

My goals have been stated before and remain staunchly rigid. I will overcome this creeping nightmare labeled “Feast or Famine.” In the meantime, I’ll pull on my muck boots and keep working on my hard drive’s groaning board. The entrees are getting out of hand again.

  1. March 5, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Hi claudsy I admire your blog

    • claudsy
      March 5, 2012 at 2:31 am

      Thanks, Lawren. Glad to have you stop by.


  2. March 5, 2012 at 8:07 am

    I’m feeling that kick in the seat of my pants and I’m just seriously amazed of what you have on your plate on a daily basis. Inspiring to say the least.

    I feel that my work has only very recently started to come into its own and be what I feel is representative of what I can/should be doing. So I’m working into a collection of some meaty pieces that I think will be “worthwhile,” to begin thinking of a book or looking for submission homes.

    I love to hear this talk, Clauds, Helps me to wrap my head around the process. Big thanks and a happy, productive day to you! Smiles~Hannah

    • claudsy
      March 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Don’t be too amazed, my young friend. My problem is that I never had an idea that I didn’t want to see as a finished product, and I have trouble reining in my enthusiasm long enough to realize that I don’t have time to put into just one more.

      That’s why I have so many sitting on the range right now. I can only cook so fast before I either get burned or it scorches.

      You’re doing just fine, as far as I can tell. I have to keep telling myself to progress slowly. It’s the old tortoise and the hare syndrome thing.

      Take care and God bless.


      • March 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

        At least you’ve the gumption to get the projects started, I have “start-o-phobia,”once I get going I’m alright but something akin to fear rises in my belly when I have a daunting project to begin.

        Thanks always for the conversation, Clauds! Blessings and smiles~Hannah

      • claudsy
        March 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

        Thanks, Hannah. I start, I ponder, I write, and then I worry about whether anyone will read it. Somehow it works.

      • March 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        I’m stuck tonight. All I’ve written today is three haiku. 😦 Didn’t get a good night sleep last night. Think I’ll go read! Have a great day tomorrow. 🙂

      • claudsy
        March 5, 2012 at 10:18 pm


        Whether only lines,
        Syllables as fair or foul,
        Or bliss seen as words.

        Sleep well, Fair Hannah.

      • March 6, 2012 at 8:08 am

        A beautiful bed-time haiku! Huge blessings to you!

      • claudsy
        March 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

        Thanks, Hannah.

  3. March 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Ah yes. I am currently in the famine side of paying things, but in the feast side of ideas. Yes, I understand you well. You have quite a bit on your plate right now and I am amazed all you do get accomplished. Good luck on your coming acceptances. I will definitely not be raining on your parade. I am hoping for a parade of my own here in a few weeks.


    • claudsy
      March 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      I so understand the famine side. Of course, I don’t currently have a book out on the market. I’m trying remedy that situation with everything that I’ve got. I’m getting stuff out to markets. That’s a good thing, but I’d like to see more production on my part on each project.

      Still, some is better than none, and I’m not taking on any more projects until I can put more out some additional submissions.

      Always wonderful to hear from you, Court. Take care and God bless.


  4. March 6, 2012 at 4:45 am

    You sound impressively productive!

    • claudsy
      March 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

      I wish I felt like I was winning most days. I’m not ever sure if I’m producing anything more for myself than more work. Where does one draw the line on that question?

  5. claudsy
    March 15, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Thanks for the pingback.

  1. March 15, 2012 at 12:12 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: