Only another half-dozen class meetings until the end of the semester. Then a blitz of monster student papers, and then…and then…white-hot silence.
For the first time in many a year, I’m looking at an entire three-month summer break with nothing to do. Even when I was in graduate school and couldn’t take summer classes because they didn’t give enough time to write graduate-level research papers, I had things going on in the summer: research projects, society-wife machinations, trips to Hawaii, West Virginia, Atlanta, England, and waypoints. When I was teaching at the Great Desert University, I usually taught in at least one and sometimes both summer sessions by way of generating a living wage. And of course, over the past five or six years I held a twelve-month administrative position. Though it had normal vacations time, I rarely took any because I had nothing better to do.
So. In the “nothing better to do” department, the question is what on earth am I going to do this summer? Choir ends on May 30, by which time I probably will have both my fall classes set up and ready to go. And in a 115-degree summer, there’s never much going on in Phoenix.
I’m thinking this will be a good opportunity to try to wring a book out of Funny. That’s been on the agenda since shortly after I started the blog. I haven’t done it mostly because I’ve been busy. Mining almost three years’ worth of posts for material that will hang together in a reasonable way will be a big job in itself. With that done, there’ll be the matter of rewriting the stuff to obliterate the blogginess and make it act like print book copy.
Another possibility is to focus on the blog itself and on trying to expand readership. In the past couple of days, Funny has experienced an amazing spike in traffic, apparently because an MSN Money Talks story that mentioned the Great No-Detergent Laundry Experiment was featured on Yahoo.com. The result was huge: in one day, Adsense earned more than it normally does in an entire month.
If daily traffic averaged half that much, 325 days a year, that plus the Social Security plus the normal flow of editorial projects would return my net income to about what I was earning at the Great Desert University. And I’d never have to read another freshman paper again.
It being unlikely that I’d earn that much on a book and certain that book revenues would not stretch out over a period of years, I incline toward spending six to eight hours a day on the blog: writing, marketing, and publicizing. If I actually sat down and organized my time intelligently, three months of that could at least set Funny on the right trajectory.
Or, in the “now for something entirely different” department, I could try to write a genre mystery novel. That’s also an idea that’s been percolating. But I dunno…it’s hard to work up much enthusiasm. I think I’d rather edit them than write them.