I’ve had an idea percolating for a while about an article I would like to write. By “a while,” I mean over a year. Despite the desire to publish, I just haven’t gotten down to the actual (and very necessary) writing part. I have no exceedingly compelling reasons to justify this delay, and I am determined to make 2015 the year I overcome my inertia and go from idea to written article (I had planned for last year to be THE YEAR, but alas…). With this resolution in place, I established a few routines early this year that I have found helpful:
Plan writing time into my day (and log out of my e-mail during that time).
By creating a designated time in my day to write, I ensure that I get at least a few sentences down. These will eventually add up. I find that I stay the most focused during this writing-only time when I schedule it early in the day and log out of my e-mail. This minimizes the disruptions and distractions that so easily can pull my attention to other matters.
Give myself the freedom to write badly.
Not everything I write one day is worth keeping when I review it the next day. But that’s okay. I realize I cannot always write well, but that I need to keep on writing nonetheless. The habit of writing daily is important to help keep me moving toward my goal, so some bad writing along the way is worth the overall forward movement.
Share my writing goal with others.
Having people who know about and are supportive of my goal periodically ask about my progress is a great motivator. Accountability helps keep me engaged in the writing process and responsible for the goal I have set out to accomplish.
Look for guidance on the process.
As you have probably surmised, I have little knowledge of the publication process for library professionals, and I appreciate receiving guidance from any and all sources. I have found several articles and books that have been useful (a short list of which appears below), but, above all else, I have appreciated input from a mentor with real-life experience in writing for publication. She has struggled with the issues I’m now experiencing and has successfully navigated the hurdles I have before me, making her advice invaluable.
- Wendy Laura Belcher, Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: a Guide to Academic Publishing Success (Princeton University 2009)
- Trudi B. Hahn and Paul T. Jaeger, From Practice to Publication: A Path for Academic Library Professionals, 74 Col. & Research Lib. News 238 (May 2013)
- Adeen Postar, Write Way – Past AALL Call for Papers Winners Advise the Hesitant Writer, 5 AALL Spectrum 4 (2000-2001)