Friday, July 19, 2013

A Good Bribe Gone Bad

I have two book reviews that are, at this point, seriously late. They may only be a little late by the standards of book review editors, who often have two-year-long queues of review backlog and appear not to really care when new reviews come in, but for my own comfort with deadlines and my desire to get things crossed off my to-do list, they are seriously late and need to get finished. By me.

So I brought both books to England with me with the promise that if I finished the reviews, I would allow myself the indulgence of mailing the books home rather than schlepping them along in my suitcase to Israel. It seemed a little like overkill but a bribe has to involve a real and desirable reward; and the promise of not having to lug two not insubstantial books — one a hardbound single-author monograph of typical length and the other softbound but a museum exhibition catalogue printed on luxuriously heavy paper — around with me seemed like a good one.

The only trouble is that it didn't work. In addition to my work in the libraries I came to visit, I have, with the exception of a few references that need checking when I get home, basically completed the last chapter of the book manuscript and written 1500 words of a 10k-word chapter for an edited collection that isn't due to the editors until February.

There's nothing like having less desirable tasks at hand to increase productivity. I guess I'll have to find some really unpleasant task to undertake that will make writing book reviews seem like the only thing worth doing.

Anybody have some stables that need mucking?

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