I’ve had to write two emails today that I really didn’t want to write. But I have reached the end of the day in a state of exhaustion, and, when you get that tired, you have to load shed. It is my turn to do so.
Firstly I have written to say that I cannot publish Michael the Syrian this year. I have two books on the go already, and I find that I haven’t enough time even to handle these. I’m simply too tired in the evenings and at the weekends. So I stumble along, doing the best I can. But this is no way to do things. I will get both the Eusebius and the Origen out; but unless I can find someone to do the chasing around, I can do no more.
Secondly I have written to someone else with a translation of much of Bar Hebraeus Chronicon Ecclesiasticum to say much the same.
Both of these letters pain me deeply. Both texts are ones that I would love to publish. It is a tremendous thing that these are being made into English. If I could publish them, they would reach a wider audience than any other way. I can afford the cost to buy the copyright. There are no real barriers except for my time and energy. But, judging from how tired I find myself tonight, I would die in the process if I tried.
We all have only so much time, so much energy. The job I am doing at the moment is leeching both from me. A dishonestly drawn-up contract means that they take more time than I would willingly sell, and it puts me in a position where I must do yet more hours for free and travel to Leeds every three weeks, in my own time. A house purchase rumbles along, with difficulties and dilemmas, and I can’t attend to it properly because of the demands of the job. I’ve reached the end of this week so exhausted that I could barely face my email.
So … my apologies. I don’t seem to have a choice, so I’ll do what I must. If it is “load shed, or die”, then I must load shed. It is important for the workaholic to know when there is nothing left to give.
Perhaps next year I shall have pushed out the existing two books — I jolly well hope so! — and they will be bringing in a revenue stream. The arrival of money is always a motivator. If nothing else, it might allow me to afford an editorial assistant to do the legwork. If so, I might still be able to do these books. If not, then there will be something else.