Tuesday, September 22, 2009

60 Days of Scholarly Journal Article Writing -- Day 5

For background on the 60 Days of Scholarly Journal Article Writing, please click here.


Remember December 3! More about why in a moment.

Today ends the first week of blogging Write Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks. Week 1 ends with a focus on your calendar and on potential challenges to writing. It reminds me how odd/amusing/frustrating it is to speak to some faculty about their writing and hear their arguments for their old methods that aren't working. Not all faculty do this -- most are eager to try new things. But occasionally you get someone who fights for what's familiar. As long as that person publishes, then great. But if the books and articles aren't coming, then it's time to explore some new tricks.

One example from the Belcher book is the author who insists s/he needs large blocks of time to write, even though research shows time and again that smaller blocks on a steady schedule are more effective. Belcher tells us, "The first thing I like to ask people who make such claims is: Have you ever tried it any other way? ... It is unscientific to have such firm beliefs without having tested them. According to actual writing tests, there are two problems with this big block of time theory. One, such stretches are elusive, and virtually nonexistent once you become a professor. Two, people who use only big blocks of time to write are less productive and more unhappy than those who write daily" (38). She then goes on to back it up with studies from Boice and others.

So at the end of Week 1, the first five days, thanks to Belcher, I have (1) identified a conference paper that can be turned into a journal article; (2) dug it out of the archives and shaken the dust off of it; (3) retyped it; and (4) set a research and writing schedule for the coming semester with a goal of submitting the completed article 11 weeks from last Thursday, or December 3.

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