Posts Tagged ‘work’

Whether Feast or Famine

March 4, 2012 16 comments


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.

Work Week–When Does It End?

September 13, 2010 1 comment

Today begins a new work week. The question is: When did the work week end?

Like most people who write, my work week is ongoing. I have the odd day out where I get to meet and talk to people I wouldn’t otherwise be acquainted with. The trouble is that most of the time there are only three reasons for gallivanting around.

1. Doctor’s appointments

2. General errands like groceries, post office, new equipment, bookstore.

3. Traveling to see new things about which to write.

The first two reasons could give quite a few short pieces a chance to live on a blog or even in the newspaper, given that day’s internal events at said venue. It’s that third one, however, that happens more frequently than not.

When Sister says we need more photos, the car is our immediate goal, followed by the question: Where did you have in mind?

Cameras and notebooks, pens and intentions–they travel along for the ride in search of wily pics that just can’t be passed up. Or, should that be “passed by”? Either way, the day is filled with more work than this writer can keep up with.

For every shot there is a short story to stick beside it. It might only be a pic of kinnikinick, but the blurb could be about how the berries contain so much vitamin C as to make a wonderful natural source free for the picking. Or, it could be about the fact that bears like kinnikinick almost as much as they do the huckleberries that flourish next to the kinnikinnick.

You see the problem. It generates another difficulty as well. Where does one put all of these wee blurbs of photo and words? Does a writer collect them to put into a short book for publication on the ramblings of a photographer on safari? How about short pieces for a newsletter sent out to those poor, lonely souls who have nothing better to do with their time than read the ramblings of said writer?

So when does my work week really end? To put it mildly, it doesn’t. Ideas spark 24/7 with no rest for the non-drugged. Imagination is a good thing. Artists and writers couldn’t live without it. Otherwise we wouldn’t be named artists and writers.

Imagination run amok, however, is where I live. I turned it on and now I can’t figure out how to turn it off. Oh, have no fear. I have no trouble sleeping. I sleep from sheer exhaustion most nights. I can testify to extremely vivid and enthusiastically creative dreams, though–which, of course, have left me with more storylines to put on the back burner.

You know, I wonder just how big that back burner really is. I keep putting stuff back there to percolate on its own, and it should be falling off the other side pretty soon. But, you know what, I can always go back and find it even without a catalog of story ideas. It just waits for my attention while my current distractions scream out front for their orders.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really have that essay to finish for Friday’s deadline. While I was sitting here, I did a complete mental rewrite and want to get it down while I can still find it.

Have a great work week of your own. Try to take time to breathe. I find it really helps the brain function. Funny how that works.

A bientot,


**NOTE: Photos used here are from BJ Jones Photography at: