Just Slow Down

I’m wrapping up an article I think I have been working on for a year and a half. I say wrapping up, but really the process towards publication is just getting started. I have yet to send it out for review and then deal with the sure to be forthcoming revisions and what-not.

I say I’ve been working on this piece for a year and a half, but that’s not true. I’ve probably been working on it for six-eight months, but I spread it out over a year and a half time frame. I never used to do this before, but lately I find that I have gotten slower with my writing, and I am OK with that. So what’s taking me so long? Well….

1. I’m not writing in the summer. My pre-tenure self about killed it. Let’s get real. I am paid to work nine months out of the year. Anything I do with those other three months that is work related I do so based on my own choosing. My post-tenure self is way more mindful of having a life that does not revolve around work – particularly when I am not technically getting paid to do the work. If you give me article revisions in May and tell me to resubmit by July I will be writing you back to tell you to expect them in October. If you decide this won’t work, I’ll probably be ok finding another outlet for my publication.

2. I had other things to do. And by other things, I mean other writing things to attend to. This involved finishing up other papers – getting that eb00k done! – and so on.


But now I’m at the cleaning up stage, and I’m hopeful this thing will be shipped out the door within two weeks. Seems reasonable. And as I finish this piece up, I find myself turning my attention to what I want to do next. I always have an idea for what I should be working on next. And, truth be told, I have a huge writing backlog to attend to. I have three studies that are finished – completely finished! – and have yet to see anything beyond a conference presentation. And it’s not for lack of writing or working. I just can’t keep up with it all.

At some point I managed to cobble together enough grant money to do these studies. And when the money showed up I said yes and got to work. But collecting data and managing a project takes time away from writing. That’s not a bad thing – it’s just the way things are. But it’s also a reminder to me to slow down and enjoy the work more. Nope. I don’t have any grants right now. Nope. I’m not writing any right now. I think I need to enjoy the data that I have and spend time with the data that I have. What’s the point of doing study after study if it’s going to result in further backlog?

The interesting thing is that for the first time in forever I don’t have plans to dive straight into another peer-reviewed research article upon immediate completion of this one. Between now and December, my writing goals are to:

(a) finish two e-books (one on blogging and an edited volume on formative assessment)

(b) develop this blog further (and develop more videos in conjunction with this blog)

But what I really want to do is slooooowwwww dooooowwwwnnnn and enjoy engaging with ideas.

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