Remember the paper I’ve been complaining about? The one that has been mostly-written-except-for-the-bits-I-don’t-like since August? That I was determined to finish in
October, November, December, January, February?
I sat down in March, post-interviews and negotiations, in a clear week, and after a friend had said “I just don’t understand worrying about something you are going to have to do. You are going to have to do it anyway, so might as well just do it and be done.” I read through the draft. I made a list of the things that needed to be changed, added, and double-checked. I finished the paper in approximately two hours, and sent it to co-authors the next day.
I submitted the paper in mid April. It was returned with minor revisions from two very thorough reviewers last week. I made the revisions, resubmitted on Tuesday, and the paper was accepted in less than 24 hours. This was, by far, the smoothest road from a paper being ready to a paper being accepted I have ever encountered. Plus it is in a journal perfectly targeting my intended audience, and with a very healthy impact factor (my second highest as a first author).
This easy post-writing-process has gone a long way to assuaging my hatred of this paper. It is, in retrospect, rather a good paper, and filling in some important gaps. I don’t really remember why I decided I hated it in August, but I did, and that caused me to delay finishing it for six months.
This is the kind of self-sabotage and procrastination I need to find a consistent way around. I was productive in those six months, I don’t mean to say I did nothing instead, but there was no need to let this work languish the way I did.
Hopefully I will remember this the next time I’m avoiding something. For instance, the big scary grant I’m supposed to be writing. cough cough