I have a little pet saying, which I sometimes have to remind myself of -
It's better to be in demand than not.
I did some reminding myself of it at the weekend, when I looked ahead to the coming few days and thought - in a word - eek!
It's quite a week. Tomorrow night (Wednesday), I've been invited to a wonderful event at Park School in Barnstaple - Inspire to Aspire - which means talking to the youngsters about good careers and how to get them.
(Yes, I know being a hack and writer are hardly the most socially eminent and valuable of jobs, but I shall do my best to persuade the audience that they're not so bad.)
Then, on Friday, I'm at the excellent Exeter College, teaching novel writing.
I did think twice about taking both events on, as there's lots of prep work required. But it all came down to this...
How can you refuse? An invitation to inspire youngsters into careers they might never have considered - I'd feel awful about not doing it.
And likewise, offering an insight into the joy of writing and storytelling - how can a humble author say no? It's part of the blood in my body.
So, a busy weekend and a couple of early mornings and late nights later, and I'm mostly prepared.
Do I begrudge the work? No! Not at all. I've enjoyed doing it. Because it's a privilege to be asked and a delight to do, and I shall give both events my best.
What's life for but making the most of our limited time on this wonderful planet?
On the subject of being busy, a quick aside about a bizarre but lovely interlude yesterday. I was working late and stopped for an evening snack at a cafe in Torquay. They were closing, but still kindly supplied sandwiches and coffee on the condition that..
Yes, I was a little taller than the ladies, so I got to help put up the Xmas decorations. Much to their amusement, if not always mine - if I look a little concerned, it's because I'm standing on a chair and I don't care for heights.
However, as I've said... it's better to be in demand than not.