From my diary

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.


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