For Want of an Amanuensis…

A commenter on one of today’s earlier posts expressed unhappiness over the fact that he had sent me an essay which I never posted, nor did I reply to his email.

There are bound to be others who have had similar experiences, so I am reproducing here the response I posted on that comment thread:

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible for me to publish every unsolicited essay that is sent to me. At the moment my “to do” queue has thirty things in it. A couple of weeks ago it had nineteen in it. God only knows how many it will have in it this time next month. I can’t ever seem to shrink it — I knock off a few items, and then more come in.

The same thing applies to emails. I would love to respond to every email that comes in, but once again it simply isn’t possible. Ten years ago I could manage it, but not anymore. I could start answering emails when I get up in the morning and keep answering them until bedtime, without doing anything else — no posting, no eating, no nothing — and I still wouldn’t have answered them all. Even if I gave up sleeping, it couldn’t be done.

The upshot of all this is that I have to triage my tasks. The most important things are breaking news on the topics I’m required to cover — e.g. Tommy Robinson or PEGIDA — plus translations of things that aren’t widely available in English. This includes editing translated transcripts for videos and putting them into a format Vlad can use for subtitles. And also moderating comments. These three types of activity plus the compiling of the news feed take an average of about nine hours a day. After that comes editing and posting less urgent, but still important material. That can take another four hours or so. The remainder of my day is taken up with answering emails and skype messages. Oh, and also eating, doing household chores, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, etc.

That’s seven days a week. And there still isn’t enough time.

So if you email me and don’t get a response, it’s unfortunate, but there’s not much I can do about it. And at this point, given the volume of submissions I receive, there is only about a 50-50 chance I will have time to read any given unsolicited essay that arrives in my inbox.

Obviously, I need to hire a staff. I’m still waiting for that big check from the Mossad, but for some reason it’s been delayed. Maybe a postal strike in Tel Aviv…?

13 thoughts on “For Want of an Amanuensis…

  1. I hope that the day is not far off that you and Dymphna can hire someone to help with everything. I read your posts day after day and wonder how you do it. In the meantime I support you in my small nominal way monthly and encourage others to do the same. C’mon people, ‘put your money where your mouth is’, to quote an old Ontario saying.

    • Well, except for the redaction of incivilities, that’s what our commenters do now.

      But anyone can start a forum for discussion- they just never seem to last very long without the structure of a post to which one can respond…

    • That doesn’t work. I’ve set up several fora and bulletin boards myself (PHPBB, Kunena), that is a LOT of work. To set it up and to run it on a daily basis.

  2. GOV is my preferred website for much of what is going on in the world.

    I encourage you to continue, for you are a small candle in an otherwise dark night.

    We are at a hinge point in history, for the real question that we face is whether Christianity and freedom will continue, or whether it will be suppressed.

    As we look around us we see a failure of all of the institutions that should protect the people that they say they serve. The shepherds who are there to protect their flocks have become something else, and the vanity of man with all its foibles is apparent to any who open their eyes. While arrogance, vanity and the quest of power is the condition of every age, what is different now is the degree to which the language has been bowdlerized by an “intellectual elite” who are anything but.

    At least at GOV we have an effort to quest for the truth. I encourage you to continue in your efforts.

    • Thank you. Oh, yes, we’ll continue in our efforts for as long as we can. But that doesn’t mean every email will receive a reply! It just isn’t possible.

  3. Passover vacation. Mail is always unreliable then. Cheque & diabolical instruction packet should arrive in two weeks. Try not to ruin world takeover plan by doing anything rash until then.

    • “victim” isn’t the right word when you’re a willing participant. We never expected to gain such a wide audience, but it does leave a trail of unintended consequences, e.g., it often takes us longer to write our acknowledgements to donors. This would be a quicker process were I not so darned long-winded loquacious, and curious about where our readers live. Such a myriad of places, all with their own fascinating histories…

      • Come on, now. Everyone’s a victim these days! Hop on the bandwagon!

        Joking aside, you’re busy because what you do is important and you do it well. I’ve added a lot of similar sites to my feed reader, but GoV is my first stop largely because you don’t just collect and post – you offer insight, context, connections and perspective. I can’t spend anything like the time you do sifting through the news to find the (often intentionally buried) important stories. Your work helps draw attention to the key events and players. If you didn’t do it so well, you’d not see the volume of emails, comments, submissions, etc. that you do.

        Thank you for that.

  4. Not me! 🙂 you’ll publish my next in time so I never worry. Meanwhile, I have been enjoying the wonderful articles posted. Thank you Baron Dymphna for this blog and an outlet to express myself.

  5. “If an editor accepts your article, send another article to that editor. If an editor rejects your article, send that article to another editor.”

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