Tuesday, April 21

The Feast or Famine Dilemma

So, it's Editor Nan here today, and maybe it's not truly a dilemma like Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis or whether it’s appropriate to wear my white jeans before Memorial Day, but being a freelance editor does often present difficult choices. It seems as if work comes in groups. Sometimes I spend a couple of weeks or even a month with no work at all and only a project or two way out on the horizon. When that happens, I start to panic and so I send out little reminders to my clients that I’m still around and available. It’s not a begging for work thing, just a gentle reminder that I’m here if they need an editor.

My clients are terrific—I’m crazy about all of them and mostly, it seems to be mutual because when I send out my notes, I always get a response and at least one of them usually has a project to give me. The dilemma part comes in when I accept a gig from one client and then another offers one and then another. It’s great to be loved and needed, but sadly I have to tell one of them I can’t do their job because overloading would mean not giving my best attention to each project. Turning them down makes me feel like an idiot because I’m the one who sent them notes telling them I’m ready to work. Sheesh! I may need to rethink my marketing strategy.

I’m not the only one with this issue—seems like this happens to all my freelancing buddies about this time of year. We’re all looking around for work, hoping things will pick up, and stressing over how bills will get paid if income drops. But, somehow, although we grouse and stew, work comes along, and then we’re all grousing and stewing because we’re covered up and can’t take a breath.

What I need to learn is how to use the down time constructively, like, say… writing? Rather than fussing and worrying, I should be working on my novels, blogging, checking out other writer’s websites, promoting my books, and catching up on the StoryWonk podcasts. Not griping on the phone to friend Charlie about work being slow, not checking out Facebook or Twitter, and not playing Words with Friends and Trivia Crack on my iPhone.  Heck, I could even start my spring cleaning, pull weeds in the gardens, or pick up sticks in the yard.

Nahhh…where’s the fun in that? Hey, Harlene, it’s your turn!


6 comments:

  1. Feast or famine is a way of life, isn't it? Of course, the games are necessary to keep your mind sharp, too.

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    1. Seems like it, Liz! And yes, I like how you think--the games keep us sharp. I'm honed to a fine point!

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  2. I'm terrible about using my time constructively, so I *should* have some kind of tips. Alas... What I have learned is that sometimes we need those little breaks, even if they include worry-stress. As Liz said the time with games keeps our minds sharp, I find all kinds of interesting articles on social media and sometimes story ideas form from them...if not, I always learn something new.

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    1. I'm trying hard to limit my social media time--this is the first time today I've been on since early this morning when I forgot to post this blog. (duh!) Constructive use of time seems to get harder with age...that's so not right!

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  3. Feast or famine was the story of my life during my daycare profession--some twelve years ago. Wow. That's weird to see. Twelve years...

    And as for spending time wisely---good luck with that. I've yet to conquer that either, says the person heading for the movies in a couple of hours :)

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    1. You go, girl! The movies are a great way to absorb narrative--so necessary to a writer's creative well. ;-)

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