Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Ok, so I've been bitching and moaning in this space for months now about the article on which I've been working, which I developed out of the paper that I gave at MLA, which I'd never intended to transform into a full-length article, but which I committed to transforming after receiving a letter inviting me to submit it to Very Good Journal. The idea was to finish it by April 1. What with Book Permissions Nonsense among other things, well, that April 1 internal deadline came and went. Sure, I had a version of the essay well underway at that point, but it was nowhere near done. And then I thought, May 1 will be fine. By May 1 I had a "complete" draft, but a kind of fucked up draft. June 1 will surely be fine, I thought to myself. Well, June 1, too, came and went. But somehow, today, I got my shit together and did those final things that I'd felt I must do before I could send it off.

And it is sent.

Now, is it good enough? Maybe. I'm not really sure. But if it's not good enough for them, it will surely be good enough for some other crappier venue, I feel. Things in the article's favor:

  • I'm making a comparison that's, as far as I can tell, utterly and totally unique in terms of what people have examined in print.
  • I'm taking a theoretical approach that is, if I do say so myself, really interesting and also unusual.
  • One of the texts that I examine has virtually no scholarship on it.
Things against the article:

  • Maybe the reason there's no scholarship on the one text is because it's not really worthy of scholarship.
  • Maybe my unusual theoretical approach is stupid and reveals me to be an idiot.
  • Maybe the uniqueness of the whole enterprise is stupid and reveals me to be an idiot.
That said, you can't know if you don't write things and send them off. And thus, I've written it and sent it off.

This means the following:
  • I am done with all from-scratch writing for the summer! Huzzah!
  • I can finally clear away the Dining-Room-Table-of-Anxiety and file all of my articles and things that currently litter the floor around my chair at said DRToA.
  • I can return library books!
  • Did I mention that I'm done with all from-scratch writing? (I make the "from-scratch" designation because obviously if I get a revise and resubmit I'll have to address it, and if it's rejected I'll really want to send it someplace else and that may inspire some revision, and I will have to deal with final book proofs in the coming month.)
  • I can devote myself to Mr. Stripey and the Man-Kitty without guilt in the coming days!
  • I no longer have the looming guilt of not doing that which I know I should do!
  • I can bask in the glow of finishing something major!
I'm sure I could think of more potential meanings, but I think that's enough for now. But now, it's 3:30, I'm starving and yet also drained so don't feel like cheffing something up, luckily I'm showing a movie tonight in my class except I'm not sure whether said movie is at home or at school so I need to find the movie or I'll be in major trouble, and I've got grading out the wazoo that I've been ignoring and even more coming in tonight. I'm feeling a bit like I've worked hard enough to deserve a nap, however. Is there time for napping? Is there? Hmmm.


Hilaire said...

Congratulations on finishing!! That always feels great. How great that it's in time for Mr. Stripey's arrival, too.

And, I know so well the anxiety about making unique and unusual connections...

Psych Post Doc said...

Congrats on getting the article out. I have not done any writing in about a week or two and I really need to get a couple of these mostly written manuscripts out the door.

Sisyphus said...

Hooray for getting the article out!

And I must say it makes me feel better to hear someone else setting up internal deadlines and missi--- er, um, reconfiguring them and pushing them back. I never can tell how long something is going to take me --- or more precisely, how long something is going to take for it to be both done and good.

Dr. Crazy said...

Thanks, everybody!

I have to say, I've been procrastinating for so long that I really can't get my head around the fact that it's finished.

As for figuring out how long it will take for something to be done and good, my theory is that it takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 months, from the time when one actually writes a conference paper version of a germ of an idea to when one finishes the full-length thing (for an article). At least this has been my average, when starting just with an abstract and a title. Obviously, it's different when one is cutting down something from a longer work. But this is part of the reason that I didn't beat myself up about the internal deadlines, as I knew that I could let my ideas germinate for a bit longer and that I'd still be within the range of "normal." I'm all about the pretend ambitious deadlines with a "real" deadline in mind. Also, I think it helps that I'm much more in sync with my schedule than I ever was in grad school, and that I don't have the pressure that one feels as a grad student mucking up the process. It's a *lot* easier for me to be productive and to send stuff off now that I don't have the same kind of angst I did in grad school.