Ever since I’ve been told that I can start officially writing, the one thing I was looking forward to, was my workload decreasing. It made sense, after all, that if I’m in the final stages, everything that I check off (like writing a chapter) should just mean that there’s less work left to do.
However, the last two papers I submitted have been rejected, which sucks, and it also means I have half as many publications as I could have had (directly on my research). And, now that we’re talking seriously about me finishing (I am writing) this is considered a bit more of a problem. This is because, to get a PhD you have to have contributed “new and novel” work. And the fact that your work is “new and novel” is usually judged based on the fact that you were able to publish. And publishing also means the greater community also thinks there’s some importance to your work.
But, I have those two papers with rejections sitting around, which have not been validated positively by the community, which is somewhat problematic. Part of me really just doesn’t care – but that’s the part of me that just wants someone to say fine, you’ve been here long enough here’s your piece of paper, enjoy your extra letters. The rest of me knows that this is a problem that we should solve.
And solving it means re-working the papers and trying to get them accepted, again. This time, we’re going to try a journal, because a) the first paper has been rejected from the two main conferences my supervisor approves of and b) the journal means we have a lot more space to fully explain what was happening (which will hopefully be helpful in tipping the scales in our favour).
But, this now means, not only am I writing, working on the final experiment, working on my startup, but I also have two journal papers that need to be heavily worked on. And journal papers don’t have the benefit of a tight deadline, to make sure you stay focused, motivated and on top of everything, which means it’s easy to let them slide.
I haven’t figured out how I’m going to work on all this (especially when I’m suppose to be taking the rest of the summer to work on the startup starting next week). I haven’t decided if working on the journal papers should count towards the writing time I said I’d do in July (and am still woefully behind on). It sort of seems like cheating to say yes (although cheating who, I don’t know), but I also don’t know where I’ll find any extra hours.
Today, I’m going to start by working on the experiment, since I’ve mostly abandoned it this week. Maybe while doing that, my mind will be able to work through some other problems and sort things out.