I heard today that the deadline for articles for the book I wrote my article for has been extended by a month (so it’s quite a good feeling that I can say I got something in over a month early – that doesn’t happen very often!!). I’m not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, it could mean that they’ve not had enough articles yet to fill a book. On another hand, it could mean they’ve had plenty of articles, but not enough good ones. On another another hand, it could mean that they want as many articles as possible to farm out to the reviewers, and there will be more articles against which mine is competing for a place. I will find out in about a month if my article has been shortlisted for review, and then if it is I will hear in May (if I understand the email correctly) whether it’s been accepted for the publication or not. I’m on tenterhooks! Of course if it doesn’t get accepted I’m hopeful that the reviewers’ feedback will be constructive and it’s something I can submit somewhere else. But I want it to be accepted! May feels like ages away!
The rehashed blog post wasn’t accepted for publication this time, but as it only took me an hour, rather than the weeks of agony of the proper article I’m not too upset about that, although the payment would of course have been appreciated. The email did say it may be considered for future issues, and they hoped I’d consider writing something else for them in the future. I’ve no idea if they say that to everyone they reject (very possibly) or if they actually mean it. Either way, I’m not crying into my pillow about it or anything.
Then today I heard about an essay competition, for students in my (very broad) subject area. It’s another possibility. I don’t want to be overly distracted, but it doesn’t have to be done till the end of next month, and writing for publication – any publication – is important, and probably something I should have started thinking about sooner.
There’s another article sort of distracting me at the moment. It’s not related to the current chapter I’m writing, but I came across a call for papers with a fast-approaching deadline, and it was a topic that I’ve been mulling over for a while and would probably have written about at some point anyway. I’ve decided though that as my current chapter also has the same deadline (end of this month) that that must be my priority, but I’ll keep on mulling over the article and submit it to another relevant journal later. It means I don’t have the time pressure but am still thinking about writing, which is a good thing.
I’m a bit bemused and amused that I’m talking like this now. For most of my PhD I’ve been sure that I didn’t want an academic career, and being published was a nice little sideline but not a priority. But now I’m veering towards wanting to combine nursing and academia, as well as possibly doing some consultancy work, so having a publication or three under my belt (or at least under consideration) when it comes to interviews will be really important (I have friends who have been turned down at interviews for lectureships even though they’ve got great teaching experience, because they hadn’t published enough). I saw an advert recently for a great job (which if we happened to be living near that particular place and it was 6-9 months later I would seriously consider) where having publications was really high up on the person spec.
One of my friends (who has completed her PhD) said that she felt that she owed it to the people she’d interviewed to disseminate her findings as widely as possible. I feel like that too, I don’t want the thesis to just sit on a shelf gathering dust having only ever been read by my supervisors and examiners. But I also want the personal satisfaction and recognition. I feel slightly guilty about that – having thought that the PhD was all about changing the world and being altruistic when I started it, I have to admit that I’m a bit shocked at how mercenary and precious and selfish I feel about it sometimes too.