Friday, February 10, 2012

On Giving Up (Academic Publishing)

I gave up on academic publishing and, in a way, on being a "real" academic, many years ago...

In fact, in digging through our desktop just now, I came across and read the two blind peer review reports from the first and last article that I submitted to a more serious and prestigious academic journal (Children's Literature). I received those back in September 2005 and I never revised and submitted that particular paper (which I had written 5 years before to begin with) -- re-engaging with the literature would have been a lot of trouble and, besides, I had my dissertation to work on. I began working on the dissertation that same month and three years later I finished.

My only two publications were basically "requested" by the editor of another, much smaller journal, who is a friend of mine and a wonderful editor. I really  like my two published articles and the Brazilian children's author I wrote about in one of them loved it and after I translate it to Portuguese, it's supposed to be published in the journal of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. Have I translated that yet? How long ago did she give me the good news of the possible publication? I don't even know, maybe three, four years ago?

I guess you could say that  in fact I gave up on myself and my capacity to put concentrated effort on something that is interesting but, in the grand scheme of things, meaningless like most of academic research, particularly in the humanities. Don't get me started on that... of course you can say I'm only using this argument to justify not working, which is true, but... whatever. I'll try to think and write more about this some other time.

I feel frustrated and like a failure because I gave up, though. I guess I'm just plain lazy and I'm only doing easy academic things, i.e. presenting at various conferences, I really enjoy conferences and I generally do a good job (except back in 2009 at Harvard when I we were putting the house on the market & I was a wreck). I just don't try to work on my papers and submit them to publication.

Another problem is how incredibly hard it is for me to deal with negative feedback. I literally cannot get over it. So... there you go. Another reason why I knew I could never ever apply to a tenure track job and gave up on that too... sigh.

Sorry about the depressing post. I just needed some space to vent a bit after reading those reviews (very helpful, by the way). Now I'm going to go and have some Chai. Recipe and photos upcoming!!! So exciting!!

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