Oh dear. I’m writing my DAC paper, and I’m at that stage where I have no idea what I’m doing. The abstract looks so interesting, and was cleverly constructed to use stuff I’m doing anyway for the blogging book but with a twist – but now I can’t figure out how to get from abstract to paper and I’m worried the abstract looked cool because it’s a small idea that is simply better in brief form. Like blog posts. I’m good at blog posts.

I also had reviews back from the first Very Good Journal I ever submitted an article to. I got a “revise and resubmit for a second round of reviews”, with lots of criticism but also lots of encouragement, and all in all I’m rather happy with it. One of the more amusing (and comforting) criticisms was that the paper didn’t engage enough with current research on blogs and social software, and that I should look at Jill Walker’s work. Heh. Sure, I can do that. Don’t ya love blind reviews? Of course, maybe the reviewer figured out who I was and wanted to be friendly. But I prefer the theory that he/she has no idea who I am. And that’s why I’m not posting the content of this paper or of the DAC paper – I think I’d quite like to preserve whatever blindness there is left to those review processes.

The DAC paper though, currently looks nicely formatted but god knows where it’s going. I try to comfort myself by telling myself that writing always feels like this – and usually it works out fine with perseverence.

4 thoughts on “writing is hard

  1. Jane McG

    Hey Jill! Aww, I am sending lots of empathy as you write your DAC paper. I know exactly what you mean about the leap from abstract to full paper. It can be a really exhausting process. But your work is so awesome and fabulous that I know you will chug chug chug your way to brilliance. I can’t wait to read whatever it is you’re working on!

  2. randompanda

    I’ve been referring to you a lot in my honours thesis – it’s great to know that even you get write’s block and blur 🙂

    and of course, you’ll be amazing

  3. Julianne

    Another hey Jill! with lots of moral support for the FRUSTRATION of writing. I totally concur about not posting certain kinds of works in progress. Let the seedlings grow in private for awhile!! (Also: you know this already, but writing long stuff is all about the REwriting. Slap down something and then move and fix.)

    I too am polishing a DAC paper, hoping to have it done tomorrow, and the problem with mine is that IT WAS OVERTAKEN BY EVENTS and is now no longer interesting. No longer speculation, just a news report you could get anywhere. Science fiction as a whole has this problem (except that ‘we’ got it wrong in lots of cases) so I should be used to it.

    I’m toying with the idea of tossing the whole project and just sitting in the audience, except that would be sulky and I see myself as more the enthusiastic type.

    Ooops, sorry to make this all about me. Hope to see you in Perth!! oxoxox

  4. Jill

    Misery loves company, and I’m glad to have some comfort here in my writing doldrums… the paper is growing and looking more like a paper but still has so many holes and comments in red saying “expand this” and “is this even relevant?” and “what IS my point, anyway?” Sigh.

    Julianne, that’s another issue with the long process of writing – things change. Fast. And sometimes someone’s already written what you started writing – ugh. And I sure hope you don’t chicken out – I seriously considered that too, but really, that’s just me being wimpy. Much better to fight my way through even if the paper doesn’t turn out to be good enough.

    Hope to see you in Perth!

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