Friday, October 30, 2009

Signing up for Table of Contents Delivery

A member of the Articles-Only group alerted me to the value of receiving Table of Contents e-mails from relevant journals. I tested this by visiting Oxford Journals online, and lo and behold it's an easy signup process. I will do this for all the relevant journal publishers in my field (Oxford, Johns Hopkins, Wiley-Blackwell, and more). The advantage of being able to glance over a regularly sent TOC and keep up with scholarly readings sounds wonderful.

Oxford Journals eTOC Page

Johns Hopkins University Press, Project Muse

Duke Journals Online

Thursday, October 29, 2009

60 Days of Scholarly Journal Article Writing -- Days 29-30

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

Okay, it was not supposed to happen this way. The plan was to write and submit a scholarly article to a journal in 60 days (72 calendar days, but only counting weekdays), but thanks to Wendy Belcher's wonderful book Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks, I did it in exactly half that. Wow. Weird. Of course, it was already something I had research on (we all have files of research, yes?), and I knew quite a bit about about the topic generally, but still. Six weeks?

I don't recommend that pace. The only reason it went so fast is because the querying process in Week Four and the journal research preceding it yielded an unexpected treasure -- an on-target call for papers at a superb journal. The material was due almost immediately, but it was so appropriate for what I was writing that I could not resist. Future projects will go at a better pace.

Thanks also to the Articles-Only faculty writing and publishing group, without whom I would not and could not have done it. You all taught me how to write and submit a paper, along with Belcher's brilliant text.

And who knows? Submission is only the start. There's still peer review...

Time to write another article!

NaNoWriMo Loves You

Picture sez it all. November!

(Jennifer, this is all your fault.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

60 Days of Scholarly Journal Article Writing -- Days 23-28

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

You may wonder what happened to the 60 Days of Journal Article Writing. Well, there's good news and bad news. The good news is great. Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks really works, and I'm finishing up my article. The bad news was that the week Belcher had us querying journals I got a live one on the hook that was eager to see my article within two weeks, so I've spent the past couple of weeks in a frenzy trying to finish it. This isn't binge writing the way Silvia and Boice discuss it. We consider a binge to be a writing marathon brought on by a combination of procrastination, guilt and a looming deadline. No, this is just a surprise deadline -- if I hurry I can submit a piece that is on-target for a terrific journal, but they need it soon because the submission date for a special issue had just passed when I found them.

For the rest of the 60 days I'll go back to daily blogging. That was fun, and since I've been writing every day there is a lot to say. And since this article is just about done in six weeks versus twelve, I'll start a new one and blog about that. It would be weird to write two journal articles in 60 days, but miraculous things happen at Booklab.

Finding versus making time

One of our faculty authors sighed and started to tell us all this week about how she "just wasn't able to find the time" to work on her overdue book, because her daughter has swine flu, her department hosted a conference, and her husband had to go out of town to meet with caregivers about his mom.

She was just launching into the final busy anecdote when she realized how much she sounded like the people in the Paul Silvia book (How to Write a Lot) where he laughs at the notion that one "finds" time for writing. You make time. After all -- she said after she caught herself saying this stuff -- she had "found" time to watch the news on TV, and shop for and bake something for a school sale. When it occurred to her that she could have recorded the TV show, bought some cupcakes at her favorite neighborhood shop for the sale and gotten some of her writing done, she smiled. I never preach here (I'd have to preach holding up a mirror, because I do this stuff, too, although at the moment I'm deeply into that article).

Writing doesn't have to take long. We only ask for an hour a day, although you can give it more if you're so inclined (a typical Booklab faculty member with a family does between 1.5 and 2 hours a day five days a week if a project is underway, and adds weekends only if it is due). Just that small commitment can yield more than most professors ever produce, and it can easily result in two articles per year and a book every two-three years.