I need to write 2,000 words per week on the new book to get done when I need to get done. It would be a piece of cake if that’s the only thing I had to do. I also need to finish an article by the end of February and another by the end of April. Both are invited, and I couldn’t say no to the wonderful people who invited me. But I also want to impress them, so that they don’t regret asking. I also have to write a conference talk by the end of March. And this is just what I’m doing this semester.
In my first couple of years on the tenure track, I thought it was perfectly reasonable to spend the time from now to the end of March working on nothing but the conference talk. And my conference talks kind of sucked. It takes time to figure out how research works and to find your stride.
If only I didn’t feel compelled to take on completely new topics all the time. What kind of a crazy person goes into a completely new field all of a sudden? I mean, I do know somebody like this, so I’m not alone. But it’s scary and sometimes takes my breath away with the feeling of, “gosh, what if the real specialists in the field rip me into pieces for this?” And I love that feeling.