This Week In Self-Sabotage

Ugh. Ok, look:

I fucked up in academic writingland this week. Or should I say: I’ve been fucking it up for the last, oh, four or five months.

Here’s what happened:


1) July: Had an article accepted to a new-ish journal. Hurray! But with what the editor in approval email referred to as “major revisions” required.

2) August: Was too freaked out by the prospect of critical comments on said article to, you know, actually READ the reviewer’s comments. I wish I was kidding, but yes: I was that psychotic. Finally, after much cajoling/shaming from my diss director and a key committee member: I read the damn comments. And what do you know? They were helpful, constructive, and on point.

3) September October: Prepared for, and finally took, the comprehensive exams for my PhD. Sucktastic. Attempted to revise article when I should have been studying and, unsurprisingly, got nowhere, since I had Exam Brain, which was like having an OCD hamster on uppers running around in my head.

3) late October: In a post-exam burst of discursive karate, REVISED THE DAMN ARTICLE. And made it good, really good; a piece that I actually liked. Submitted it back to the editor via the email address through which we had conducted all of our previous communication, including original submission.

4) November – December: Not a word. Nada. Radio silence. I swing between thinking article is awesome and it is somehow terrible, in a way I can’t see, and for some reason, the journal wants to let me off easy. Is giving me room to recognize my own stupid.

5) Late December: Resent the revision to the same email address, inquiring politely (I hope!) about article’s status. Crickets.

6) Most of January: Still nothing.

So this week, finally, FINALLY, I go to the damn webpage for the journal and what do you know?

They have a real submission system now. Through which you are to submit things.

So I’ve been a) sending the freaking article to the wrong address for five months; and b) worrying myself over it when all I had to do was look at the damn webpage and boom, a little bit of the problem maybe solved.

I. am. an. idiot.

I resent the article to the right place over the weekend, right after I discovered my monumental stupidity, and spent Saturday beating myself up about it but good. No, I haven’t heard a thing yet. At this point? I wouldn’t respond to me, either.

On the bright side, I figure: this isn’t a mistake I’ll make again. Next time, I’ll have more confidence in what I’ve written to be more aggressive (in a constructive way) in winding a piece through the process. I fucked up, sure, but at least I fucked up now, and not later when publication stuff will matter even more.

On the suck side, hot damn am I an idiot. Sheesh. I basically sabotaged myself for no good fucking reason and now a piece I really dig–that dare I say, might add something to the conversation–may never see the light of day.

So much of academic life, I feel like, is about keeping your shit together. Most of the time, I’m ok at that. Not great, but pretty ok.

Right now, though? I feel like a failure who’s watching my self confidence burn on a pyre of my own stupid; and that, my friends, is not a good feeling.

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