Saturday, September 19, 2009

60 Days of Journal Article Writing -- Day 1

For more information on the 60 Days of Journal Article Writing, please click here.

Day 1's assignment is so easy -- all I have to do is read pages 1-10 that precede it. I'll go read now (some of this is re-reading for me, but that never hurts when one is a Bear of Very Little Brain), and then report back.


Wow. No wonder Wendy Belcher made reading pages 1-10 the only assignment for day one. They're great pages! I learned so much about scholarly writing, and I do this for a living (note to self: never stop learning). She asks readers to do all of the written exercises, including signing a contract to commit to the work for 12 weeks (corny but effective -- I've used these before), listing common elements in my negative feelings about writing, and also listing common elements of the positive.

Negative elements for me included thinking about my dissertation committee who had expected me to publish this particular book a while ago (these memories are surprisingly visual/auditory); worries that anything I'm writing has all been done better by others; and regret for not having done more faster . . . a variation on the old refrain "What's the use? This should have been done years ago."

Positive elements included the euphoria I feel whenever I bring a chapter in for a landing; the pleasure I take in final revisions (polishing is fun!); the sheer joy of library research; and the fact that I like this job, my life, and my chosen area of research, and that when I'm writing and publishing I experience a general sense of well-being.

I also asterisked sections that will form the basis of future posts. Some are original to Belcher and I will credit her at those times, others come from Boice (about whom I've blogged before). So far my three favorite authors about academic writing are Boice, Silvia, and Belcher, although I'm sure there will continue to be more. If you don't know who I mean by these authors, please click the book list at the upper right of this blog page for details.

Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks

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