Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Best Kind of Motivation

So today I was just sitting on my ass, drinking tea and reading the Sunday Times, when I decided to check my e-mail.

And in it was a message from a scholar I'll call Primary Influence, with whom I correspond rather less frequently than I'd like. It should be more frequently, and that is my fault-- she's incredibly warm and inspiring and has always taken an interest in my work.

She wanted to know where my Quixotic Old Warrior article was being published, so that she could cite it in a book chapter that explores many of the same issues.

This prompted me to spend the next five hours fine-tuning the piece to send out again this week. I'd done some work on it last semester and then basically put it aside, too fearful to take it out and risk rejection yet again. But suddenly my lost enthusiasm and focus returned with this lovely e-mail.

And so I wrote back to her right away. And for the rest of the afternoon, we e-mailed back and forth as I edited The Don, polishing his armor and readying him for battle once more.

I've got to get it published, otherwise I'll be footnoted in three pieces before any of my own work is out! I mean, I guess she could just footnote the dissertation, but it would be so cool if my first important piece were footnoted in Primary Influence's Next Great Book. Then I wouldn't have to hem and haw as much when people asked me how my work differed from hers (this was what Dream Job That Got Away asked me at my MLA interview two years ago).

4 comments:

Hilaire said...

That is great news! And great motivation - congrats!

Eusebius said...

What a lovely surprise! We could all do with a Primary Influence like yours.

Which Sunday Times is this you have been gathering? Not the Murdoch paper surely?

muse said...

Thanks, guys!

eusebius: Everywhere except in the UK, "The Sunday Times" refers to one newspaper only.

The only news that's fit to read on Sunday. In the sunshine. On a couch. With espresso in one hand, a bagel in the other, and a cat in the lap.

Thankfully, despite the fact that a Southern woman told me the New York Times was part of the "liberal media" that was "endangering our national security," (tell that to a Guardian Reader!) home delivery is available in my area, and everyone seems to get it.

Diogenes Teufelsdröckh said...

The New York Times endangering our national security? Hardly. Like America's brave troops, I'd gladly kill terrorists by remote control too, and I read the Times every day to find out what I think. I'm always impressed with the nobility and brains of my surrogate opinions. As for security, I've learned that only Bob Herbert and Nick Kristof and me really give a damn. Send us three to Iraq and it's ring-a-ding-ding for those terrorist bozos.