Location: United States

Recently awarded rank of Fellow, Society for Technical Communcation (STC). Owner, Well Chosen Words (, providing consultative support for communication projects including management of complex proposal projects for small business clients to submit to secure contracts with government agencies. Aging gracefully with the ability to see humor in the ironic.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Feast or Famine

Successful independent technical communicators are almost always busy doing something although it's not always something that generates revenue. Here at Well Chosen Words, we find that the expression "feast or famine" has real meaning as far as contracts are concerned.

We have some wonderful, long-term clients that we would never want to turn away if they need our help - so, sometimes we end up with several projects going at the same time. It's a balancing act - writing, doing graphics, editing, and then - production including desktop publishing, copyediting, quality control, reproduction and assembly, or rollout (whether hardcopy, web site, or electronic copies, this phase always takes longer than anyone anticipated).

It's okay or even great to be really busy including even a few all-nighters if necessary. Generally technical communicators are able to multi-task without panic (actually I'm beginning to think it is a talent we have). We thrive when challenged to balance random items in the air - and like most contractors it's our mantra said as we rise every morning - "never turn down work."

But, sometimes when related to revenue-producing the feast part work of "feast or famine" in unwelcome. We'd rather do something else - like watch our grandson show his championship pig at the County Fair or celebrate one of his rites of passage.


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