After a week of being ill and getting next to nothing done, I am feeling the pinch. So much email has piled up in my inbox that I feel quite harried and I’ve taken the extraordinary measure of not giving my students any homework this week so far (awful, I know). It is days like this that make me wonder why I try to do so much, but then again, I know why. Because when I’m not ill, my head is so full of ideas that I can hardly keep my skull from popping open. They all want to get out and be real, like little Pinocchios.
The ideas are wonderful: it’s the tedious things that get me frustrated. All those things that could be done by somebody who is not me — typing, filing, mailing, sorting. If I had more money, I would pay someone else to do those tasks. My most recent payment for my writing, however, won’t buy much more than lunch. Thus I remain minion-free — and all the ideas that might bring me a better royalty payments have to wait until the more pressing but less inspiring tasks are done.
On the plus side, one editor called my work “dazzling” this week and another made reference to my “fan base” (!), so there are some (intangible, unpaid) benefits. After reading Chris Anderson’s Free, I’m still contemplating the impact of the abundance of free content on the web and how it’s turning the publishing world upside down. It’s going to take some time for it to all shake out. Exciting times we live in — full of confusion and frustration, sure, but also brand new opportunities.