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
- December – Chapter #3 due
- January 2017
- 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!