Friday, August 11, 2006

More Adventures in Desk Cleaning

That's right. I'm still not done. Exactly. I can't stick with a job very long.

A couple of days ago I found a couple of e-mails from my former editor. I know I didn't make hard copies of them when I received them--back in 2003 and 2004--because I can remember wondering if I'd ever find them again on my hard drive. Well, I must have sometime since the last time I cleaned my desk.

One of the e-mails included a list of reading association websites. Reading associations have conferences to which the associations often invite writers to speak. Said writers usually submit a proposal suggesting something they would talk about, and then they get an invitation. This is a good thing because the conferences attract hundreds of teachers and librarians, who recommend books to others. Promotion. Marketing. Etc.

Okay, so the reason it takes me so long to clean my desk is that when I find something like this e-mail from my editor with a list of websites, I must visit them. So I did. I've missed my chance to submit conference proposals for this year, which is just as well because conferences usually have topics. As a general rule, I draw a blank over topics.

This past winter I spoke at a teachers' conference in New York. The topic I was given was easy--I was asked to speak on how teachers could use my book in their classroom. Concise. I understood it. To paraphrase Captain Jack Sparrow, it was a simple plan, easy to remember. But usually conference topics are more like "Literacy Learning and Teaching: Reaching for New Horizons" and "Bringing Life to Literacy." (Connecticut and Delaware's topics this year.) What? That is way too vague for me. I cannot imagine what I would say about those things.

So I didn't make much progress cleaning my desk because I was looking at all these websites and feeling badly about myself.

While I truly believe that getting rid of clutter and simplifying your surroundings improves your general well-being, my well-being this afternoon wasn't feeling all that terrific.

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