State of the Projects, October 2016, and how I plan to fix my publication record

It’s a warm Saturday night and I’ve just polished off some delicious milo as I type this. In the morning the lords of time and date decree that we will lose an hour to make summer more bearable (they are wise, because I’ve been getting up at 5:30 this week, and without daylight savings time, it’ll be 4:30 by the middle of summer, which reminds me of Mongolian summer which was very productive).

This, if you haven’t realised, is me at my rambling best.

Very little to report on ‘the projects’. I did receive a lovely email a few weeks past asking about my shelved Greek Ørberg work. Happy to share that around, such as it is.

I, of course, am about waist-deep in trying to bring my thesis to completion by mid-November. This is stymied by the delightful distraction of only studying 3 days a week and looking after a beautiful 6 month old for 2 days a week (out of 5, if you’re confused by my maths).

That thesis is coming along well, but a metric tonne of work remains to be done. A lot of editing, revising, formatting, following up references, incorporating some material, and a bit of writing.

I’m also applying for jobs for which I have great anti-enthusiasm and a fair share of pessimism. I’m hyper-aware of the defects in my c.v. and my applications, which are generally fixable but I can’t fix them right now.

One of those is my lack of publications. I have just an odd assortment of ‘things’ I’ve published, but I am missing those stand out bejewelled peer-reviewed prestige journal articles. Partly, I believe, because my doctoral candidature never pushed me hard enough to publish.

I can literally count up about six articles worth of material that I have sitting in digital form. Some of these need more work than others. One has been rejected once so far. All need sustained attention to bring them to fruition. But time and the self-review has never been my friend here.

So right now, I have been carving out a minimal but important amount of time to diligently work through Wendy Laura Belcher’s  Writing Your Journal Article in 12 weeks. Though I’ve read a couple of really helpful books about article writing, this is a workbook designed to get you doing the process. So I’ve got a single article that parallels some thesis material that I’m working over for resubmission.

Once the thesis is done my secondary plan is to start working over those other article materials at a staggered schedule and just keep at it until I (a) fix the deficit in my c.v. (b) become habituated to a work flow that results in journal articles.

Of course, this is all future plans, which helps my current job applications not one whit. Hence, healthy pessimism.

Then, too, I have some good ‘projects’ lined up to resume – again, once that thesis is done and submitted. Until then, almost everything else must wait.