Tag Archives: academic job market

Write now? Or wait for later?

As I continue working on the prospectus, I’ve been rustling up more and more ideas for future articles and book chapters. Some of the ideas are pretty good–probably better (and/or more exciting) than some of my planned dissertation chapters. So when do I work on these other things?

Timing is key. If I want to go on the academic job market in fall 2017 and graduate by April 2018, I need to have a peer-reviewed journal article in one of our field’s best journals in press by the time I begin applying for jobs. Since the blind-review, review-and-resubmit process is rather time consuming, I have the best chance of making this happen if I send out two articles for review in August 2016. But the question remains: Do I try to write one of my dissertation chapters and shorten it into an article? Do I try to write up one of these other ideas for publication? Or both?

This conundrum, then, begs the question: How long will I take to write each dissertation chapter, and when do I plan to finish the dissertation?

I am not great at writing during the semester except when it’s forced. (Perhaps this is also because I’ve been in 2 classes of my own each semester on top of working with the HHIVE team, teaching my own class, TAing, working at my on-campus job, etc. Not all at the same time, but I’ve done at least 2-3 of these things at once since I started teaching last year). I know I’ll need to cut down on these other activities–and that’s my plan–but can I expect to be productive while I’m still teaching? And when I really feel the economic pinch from not taking on extra jobs, will I be able to maintain my focus? In general, I try to set myself mid-semester deadlines toe force myself to write. For example, I applied to the RSA Research Network Forum (and got in!) because I wanted to push myself to finish at least one dissertation chapter or article-length version of the chapter before June. Will this stress me out? DEFINITELY. But I’m not sure it would get done otherwise. I worry that it wouldn’t get one otherwise.

I guess it would be a good time to make a timeline for how I might complete this work?

  • April 2016 – complete COMM771 seminar paper, which can hopefully be edited and sent to a peer-reviewed journal this summer
  • May – complete Journal of Medical Humanities article (due June 1st); write article/chapter #1 for RNF at RSA
  • June – write article/dissertation chapter #2
  • July – write separate but related article; finish article/dissertation chapter #2;
  • August – submit chapter #1 or #2 as well as separate article to peer-reviewed journal
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December – Chapter #3 due
  • January 2017
  • February
  • March
  • April – Chapter #4 due

Note: This will theoretically mean that I’ve completed the dissertation, but 

  • May – draft separate but related article
  • June – draft separate but related article
  • July – Job market materials…!!!!!

My challenge, of course, is that I have trouble writing until I have a clear plan about what I’m going to write about…and to complete the dissertation, I’ll probably have to write my way into it. But at least now I have a skeletal plan?

PS: Last night,  I got my first restful night of sleep in weeks! It’s amazing what low humidity can do for those of us with joint problems!


Ori, my gray striped kitty, stretched out and asleep. Her smiling kitty face is pressed up against my outstretched arm, and her little ams are crossed over mine, holding me captive and not allowing me to type quite as quickly. I’m glad that someone in our house gets restful sleep…

Tagged , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: