Another week on and I’m happy to say that Paper 3 – the one based on my Masters dissertation – is now nearing submission. Last time I reported here it hadn’t moved forward at all, but I’ve done a lot of work on it, including checking relevant historiography, and it’s now nearly there. I’m aiming at quite an ambitious journal, because I think it’s a piece that merits that, and I’m very proud of it. Right now I’m grappling with converting my paper to the chosen journal’s house style. Once that’s done I’ll reread, make final changes, then submit. In word count terms it’s bang on the right amount, near the lower end of what they permit. In history journals it’s often easier to get a shorter paper – relatively speaking, when we’re talking about 8000 words and upwards – published, and that’s the strategy I’m adopting here. It was quite a fight to squeeze a dissertation-length piece down into that word count, but I think it’s improved it, and focused the argument.
Paper 1 hasn’t moved forward, but I’ve put it on one side for now, partly while I focus on shifting Paper 3 out the door, partly to give me a bit of distance to be more ruthless in my editing / rehacking. It’s all too easy with a lengthy piece of academic writing to get quite attached to it. It can be very helpful to have some distance, and get something like a fresh pair of eyes looking at it.
On the downside working on papers so far advanced is making me want to do something a bit more creative. I really like the early stages of writing papers and doing research, when ideas are flying all over the place. So to recover some of that buzz I’m going to work on my mind maps for possible research/paper ideas in future, and also start to return to my text adventure game writing.
In a week’s time I hope to have Paper 3 submitted, or nearly so, have moved on the text adventure writing, and done some productive mind mapping. And then, after a decent break, it should be about time to look effectively again at Paper 1.