I have looked up to people who publish articles for years…
They are amazing!
They must know so much!
Look how brilliant they are!
Those are only some of the thoughts I used to think…That sentence is written in past tense for a reason.
As part of working in collaboration with another department while writing up my dissertation on indigenous knowledge of adults experiencing homelessness in Bucharest, Romania I had the opportunity of writing one of these papers myself. It was very difficult, time consuming and made me feel pretty dumb many times. I was working very closely with a great academic who was very helpful. He pointed out what I did well but was not shy in telling me when what I had written wasn’t good enough.
Back to the story. I spent days and weeks writing this paper working toward a deadline for the conference this would get sent to. In the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) which apparently I am now part of (whaat?!) conference proceedings are actually more important than journals (weird. and definitely deserving of it’s own post…so I won’t go into much detail on that here…)
Anyway…it is still unsure whether the paper will get accepted. Personally, I think it’s highly unlikely as around 80% of the papers that get submitted are rejected, but the simple idea that I’ve written a paper! An ACADEMIC paper! Something that is in a suitable format, with appropriate literature review, data, analysis, discussions, jargon, vocabulary, etc. to even be considered as ‘publishable’ is amazing.
If you would have told me two years ago that I would have written a paper that would be taken seriously by a peer reviewer, and that I would be applying for, and actually getting accepted to a fully funded PhD I would have laughed in your face. Yet here I am.
Done and dusted. Terrified, but ready.