What tops the cake

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Summer is officially over (in terms of school break, hence vacation, it definitely is), although it still feels like Australia in December. Now that we are sweating properly, it is time to sweat figuratively. Get some real work done here. The last comment to the young researchers in DH manifesto was asking us to get our hands dirty. Like there isn’t ink and dust all over us the place already – nah, probably not enough yet.

After going through the to-do list of the papers due until the end of the year, the obvious conclusion was to set up a plan that would allow me to actually manage to write them, and hopefully also start with the 2 huge grant applications due next spring. Instead of that, I have made a 17 item-list of the real emergencies last Monday, processed and resolved them one by one over the week. Now that this list is exhausted, I plan to ignore my team, the service contracts in the pipelines, the due papers, the DH Berlin Zirkel, the growth of the digital edition, the translation of the young researchers in DH manifesto, and the heat. And I will write.

Now it has been such a long time since I have actually had time to work on my book that I have been worried these last weeks about not wanting to write the same book any more. And I have worried about not wanting to write it in German any more. And worried about not knowing how to write, like, at all, any more. It is one thing to write 50 000 signs and another to write 200 pages, though it is not the amount of pages that impresses me. It is the way of developing thought that goes with it. This kind of thinking needs long time, it is time itself. I have so much not had time in years that it is as if I had forgotten how that goes. While working on the translation of the manifesto during the week, I asked myself if we had not exaggerated things a bit when we wrote that young researchers in DH are even more under time pressure than other humanities researchers. Now that I have to voluntarily quit the emergency room, I have to admit that there really is something to it. Even if being a team manager is probably just as much a reason for never having time, I grant you that.

How should I proceed? I don’t know. I don’t even know how much time I can realistically count on having, let alone know what to do with it. If I postpone a deadline for one paper or two (never a good idea though), I might have one month.

One month! Of the 4 cream puffs that top this one-month-cake, I will begin with the most savory one: I will read.