Thursday, August 5, 2010

Struggle to Publish

So, I have come to an interesting point in my journey as a scholar: the end.

Well, that might be a little dramatic. As I said in my previous post, "Life lived like a story", I love learning and, more specifically, being a student and would love to someday go back to grad school for a PhD.

I've finished my M.A. and, for the first time in my life, I am not a student. Gasp! Needless to say as a lifelong nerd, I feel a slight void (but luckily that feeling has been tempered by the new job at a university I began almost immediately upon graduation). But I still find myself stealing moments away from my day to browse PhD programs, google scholars and scan journals. I think it is clearly where my heart is.

In order to satiate the nerd within me, I have settled on applying for 2011's Graduate Horizons so that I can explore whether it's possible for me to go to school in the U.S. Well, anything is possible, I guess exploring whether it is do-able is more accurate. (Or is that the same thing?)

Between now and then I am going to concentrate on making myself more PhD-ready. I've already had the amazing opportunity to co-author a chapter for a book with a professor and a Harvard-educated PhD candidate, both of whom I admire.

Now I come to my current dilemma: my struggle to publish. I was very proud of my MA research essay. And, I was happy that my three graders seemed to feel the same way. I knew that I wanted to share my essay with others, having only shared it with my family at this point, and my graders encouraged doing so in their marking scheme...

But I can't start!

Up until now I've blamed my new job. It's been an adjustment and existing within a learning curve can be tiring. So, I'm not going to apologize for that. But every night this week I've wanted to start looking at my essay again, start sending it to friends who've been asking to read it, start e-mailing it to some of the professors who've helped me along the way to ask for advice.

I couldn't understand what was going on. It wasn't my normal procrastination, which usually only happens when I really don't want to do something. I want badly to get rolling, revise and submit my essay. (Whether to submit it to my "dream" journal, SAIL, or a lesser known journal - so much lesser that I don't even have one to name - is yet another untied end.) But I just couldn't.

Then I met with one of my graders who, until that moment, had been 'blind.' Our conversation inevitably turned to my essay and the possibility of publishing. After coming clean about my recent struggles, I was delighted to learn that I wasn't alone. As a newly 'crowned' (haha) PhD she had several publishers knocking on her door, but she's been sitting on her dissertation for two years.

Suddenly three months doesn't seem so bad. I just hope it doesn't turn into three years.


  1. Oh em gee it's like we are twins. I just finished school (after a million years - switched majors majorly) and then got offered a job at university the day after I had convocation! Now I am dreaming of my MBA ...

  2. That's so crazy! When is your birthday? Jokes...!

    There must be something about working at a university that fuels the desire to further education. *Or* it could be a sign that the universities don’t want us to leave…? ;)

    P.S. I’ve hardly met any Native women with MBAs. That would be amazing!

    P.P.S. I wish I’d spent more time switching majors and making sure it was perfect. I only made one switch (from a joint degree in Communications and Philosophy to just Communications) but looking back now I wish I’d taken English. *sigh*