JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure

I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books. I’ve never been interested in them. When so many people rave about them, surely they must be “middle-of-the-road”?

However, after watching this video I’m just a little tempted to see what JK Rowling has to say in her books.

Email, Grammar and Life Away from a Computer

Last year I spent far too much time sitting at my computer.

Last year I spent far too much time dealing with email.

Last year I spent far too many days at home.

I am a teacher. I teach circus skills. Most people get to deal with their work email while they are at work, getting paid. When I’m not teaching I’m not getting paid and yet I still have to deal with my email on my “time off”.

This year is going to be different. This year I am going to get out of the house and away from my email.

I have read about the infectious nature of email. I have read about how addictive it can be. I have become infected and I have been an addict, and for a long time I have been thinking about cancelling my email accounts all together. But in today’s day and age that’s just not practical. However, I recently read The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, which I’m sure some of you have read and have taken up the idea of an email auto-responder.

Here is my brand spanking new email auto-responder:

Hello Family, Friends & Colleagues,

Over the past year I have been finding it increasingly difficult to deal with all my emails in a timely manner and have often neglected my emails due to being busy teaching circus – or simply not being able to face a bulging inbox every couple of days! (My job is supposed to be teaching circus NOT dealing with email!)

In 2011 I am starting work on several new projects on top of my teaching, including starting a new youth circus company, Airborne Circus (www.airbornecircus.com), and expect that I will be busier than ever.

I will only be dealing with emails twice per week, most likely on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes, depending on my teaching schedule, and I will only be responding to emails that are deserving (clear, well written, good grammar, etc). I will not be dealing with emails that are undeserving (unclear, not spell-checked, bad grammar, etc), and I will not be handling email on my iPhone – I have in fact removed my email account from my iPhone.

If you have something pressing and need an URGENT response please call me on 07941 866 555 and I will be happy to speak with you.

Thank you for your understanding and I look forward to your well-written emails.

All the best,



Do you have email addiction? Do you use an auto-responder? Do you use your email spell-checker and have good grammar? Let me know in the comments.


Adam tweets as CircusBoy1 if you fancy following him.

Adam’s youth circus company is Airborne Circus.