Monday, September 21, 2009

60 Days of Journal Article Writing -- Day 4

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


I chose to re-type that conference paper from 11 years ago instead of trying to retrieve the file from an outdated floppy disk. The retyping process is so useful, both for helping me remember the paper's details, and for reminding me of its inherent inter-disciplinarity. The conference panel had been organized by Fr. Alvaro Ribeiro, and it was titled "Words and Music," reflecting his long, expert interest in the English musicologist and music historian Charles Burney (1726-1814).

Wendy Belcher rightly cautions against using interdisciplinary papers for this particular exercise because one risks attempting to publish in a field in which one is not credentialed. She writes, "It is harder than most... think to write for another discipline. Just because you took one film class and wrote a paper for it, despite being in the political science department, does not mean that you know how to write for film scholars." Hmmmm, I'm feeling that. Sure, I was a classical radio host, but that doesn't mean I'm a musical scholar. It means I know how to play CDs and read liner notes. So should I attempt to publish this scholarly paper at all?

In the interest of the blog and the group I will, and here's why: the research isn't pure musicology. I'm focusing on words, and music is just part of it. The piece is also literary history, and medical history. Although I risk being judged by standards outside of my field, I will assume that risk with the understanding that the readers for 18th-Century Studies may take me to task for aesthetics I'm too naieve to incorporate. I can live with that... I really want this paper to see the light of day. So onward.

Day 4 of Week 1 has many notes about obstacles and writing tasks that I won't detail here because you should buy the book! It is just so valuable for writers. I'll keep blogging it, but with the understanding that there's nothing like the real thing (a mere $35 investment in your publishing future).

Image above taken from the website of The Early Music Man.

1 comment:

JW said...


Thanks for blogging your progress - it's really helpful to see this during the week and hear your thoughts. I'm working my way through as well and look forward to our articles group on Thursday.