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Pace Yourself

Best Practices in Sustaining Creative Development

Whether you breeze through your writing or experience pain with every word, it’s difficult to sustain a writing practice in the midst of a busy life. Creative work requires mental space in which to grow. If you’re teaching, practicing, or advising, not to mention keeping up with the rest of your life, it’s all too easy to let the writing habit slip. But productive writers are writers who chip away bit by bit at the project.

Feed your writing self every day – even if some days you only have time to jot a few notes while stirring the spaghetti sauce. Academic calendars usually offer concentrated periods in which you can focus on research and writing, but if you wait until those opportunities, you have to lurch the machinery into action. If, on the other hand, you maintain your momentum every day, you can quickly dive into projects when you have the opportunity.

Lifelong Learning

Throughout this tutorial, you’ve been exposed to the elements of scholarly publishing. But this is only the beginning. As you gain more experience, your knowledge of the process will grow organically.

It’s also important to keep up with the changing scholarly publishing environment and the details that pertain to your particular field and institution.

Here’s a short list of important areas to monitor:

  • Tenure requirements
  • Open access trends and legislation
  • New models of peer review
  • Innovations in digital publishing

These are topics that you can continue to learn about, along with your field of study, for the rest of your career.

Mastering Scholarly Publishing

Are you ready to publish? If you’ve completed all the sections of this tutorial, you’ve got a good foundation for directing your efforts in scholarly publishing.

If you allow your intellectual curiosity to drive your development, scholarly publishing will be an enjoyable element of your career instead of a painful chore. You can publish, not perish, with confidence. If you want even more information, you can find it by:

  • Browsing the list of References is a good place to find more information about scholarly publishing.
  • Reading items like Rowena Murray’s book, Writing for Academic Journals (Open University Press, 2005), which provides an excellent overview of scholarly publishing from an author’s point of view.
  • Talking with senior faculty in your department, peers and colleagues, journal editors you meet at conferences and library staff to gain additional insight into the scholarly publishing process.

Congratulations, you've just completed the Publish, Not Perish guide!

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