A Proper Writer

I’ve submitted my first paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Cue all manner of adrenalin-related experiences – clammy palms, headspins. It was quite an experience, and I hope it was because it’s a new experience rather than an indicator of what it will always be like.

This post on The Professor is In presents some useful thoughts about how easy it is to get caught into magical thinking in relation to cover letters and other bits and pieces associated with submitting papers for publication, especially where it is out of proportion to their importance. I noticed myself getting caught up in it too. I had it in my mind that I would be submitting on Friday, and yet here I was on Thursday afternoon with everything ready to go. Why was I waiting? I had prepared myself for the process to take longer than it actually had. It took me a while to figure out that I was caught in that magical thinking – it was going to work better somehow if I submitted it on Friday, that it would somehow be ‘better’ or more successful, when of course there was no reason not to get this little fledgeling out of the nest.  I’d done all of the hard work. My supervisors had said it was ready. I’d already had enough massive hints from them that they were okay with me going ahead. I didn’t actually need a ‘yes, this is finally final, go ahead’ permission slip. “Give it wings,” an email from my primary supervisor had said earlier in the day. It was okay and I could do this.

So, I uploaded, checked, spotted a couple of consistency errors, fixed those, re-uploaded … and then hit ‘submit’.

Then I had to sit for half an hour while my nerves calmed before heading home for the evening.

It poses an intriguing question – does this make me a ‘proper’ writer now? Could I consider myself an ‘author’? I’m first author on the manuscript and it’s primarily my writing, even though it follows the discipline convention of including all contributors as authors (who in this case are my supervisors who provided input on drafts and contributed to the development of my ideas). I guess that does make me an author and a writer. The next step will be becoming a published author.


+ “Give It Wings” First Manuscript Submitted for Publication Achievement Badge

+ Lotsa XP

Why no level up? Well, I have to save something for when it’s accepted for publication!

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4 Responses to A Proper Writer

  1. rephraser says:

    As far as I’m concerned, you’re already an author because you wrote an honours thesis. But this makes you an aithor of a peer reviewed paper. Well done, may it be the first of many.

  2. rephraser says:

    Well done – may it be the first of many. To me you’re already an author because you’ve authored an honours thesis – but this is your first journal publication, a different beast entirely and something to be proud of.

    • justblade says:

      That’s true and a very good point. It feels a lifetime ago, which is perhaps why I don’t think of it as something that established me as an author. I am proud of this manuscript, regardless of where it goes from here. It will be a portion of a chapter in my thesis at the very least!

  3. Heidi Hodge says:

    Congratulations! I agree – you’re already an author. Aside from your Hons. thesis, these blog posts are insightful to read, and I truly enjoy your raw and honest style. It makes me keep coming back to read each post – thanks 🙂
    I loved the ‘give it wings’ reference, and may steal it from time to time.
    Again, a well-earned congratulations. Now breathe!

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