Writing for Publication: Transitions and Tools that Support Scholars’ Success - Mary Renck Jalongo, Olivia N. Saracho 2016
Deal with Impatience and Uncertainty
From Aspiring Author to Published Scholar
Professional Roles and Publishable Writing
One nearly certain way to give up on a writing session is to allow thoughts such as, “What right do I have to speak?” or “Why am I wasting my time? I’ll never get published!” to creep in. Authors need to banish “the psychological carnivores that prey upon confidence” and have “Faith in our subject matter, faith that needed language resides in us, faith that our meaning making through writing is worthwhile” (Romano, 2000, p. 30, p. 20). Successful authors have learned to stay in the moment rather than dwelling the other things they might be doing instead. Convince yourself that writing is what you are doing now and commit yourself to doing only those tasks that will support the writing effort. When the composing process is stalled or unproductive, switch to a different task. Go back and search the literature or check references, for example, rather than stare at a blinking cursor waiting for inspiration. Many people mistakenly assume that “real” writers need only write down the brilliant, perfectly worded sentences that spring to mind. However, one reason that writing is categorized as a process and a craft is that writers write (and revise) ideas into being.
Another way of subduing impatience is to decode your optimal work habits. Relegate tasks with fewer cognitive demands (for example, answering routine student questions about assignments) to less-than-peak mental performance times and reserve writing for times when your brain feels “fresh”. Instead of setting unrealistic goals (e.g., “I’m going to write a publishable article this weekend”), set very modest objectives (e.g., “I’m going to take some notes on what I’ve read and categorize them”, “I think I’ll reread and experiment with a different organizational structure today.” or “I’m going to play around with article titles because I have to be at this boring meeting.”)