This Happened

As many of you know, I’m working on a Ph.D. in the theory and practice of professional communication in an English department.  That basically means that I’m studying technical writing, editing, and workplace writing.  I have a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in editing and technical writing, and I worked for several years as an editor.  I also have a master’s degree in literary studies, and as much as I love novels, this professional writing stuff is really what I’m good at and, I think, is what will eventually get me a job as an academic.

In this quest to become “academic,” I’ve learned that publications are key.  I’ve stressed over this, as I have some published personal essays and some minor publications about teaching and composition.  But I’ve never had a peer-reviewed publication in one of the major journals in my field.  Until now.

letter of acceptance

This letter had been sitting in my box in the English department for several weeks before I saw it, but now that I have seen it, I can’t stop celebrating.  And it’s somewhat hard to read, so it basically says that my article “Redefining the Workplace: The Professionalization of Motherhood through Blogging” is going to be published in The Journal of Technical Writing and Communication in late 2014, without revision!

I’m going to be published in a peer-reviewed journal in my field!

I know.  It sounds so boring.  It probably is.  But it’s also big.  It means that I can do it.  It means that my research agenda, focused on women in my field, even women whose workplaces are in the home, is valid.  It means that I have finally figured out how to write “academically.”  It means that my chance of getting a tenure-track job after I’m done with my Ph.D. is more of a reality.

The funny thing is, when I told a male colleague that I had exciting news to share, he said, “Congratulations.  When are you due?”

I said, “That’s not my exciting news.”

He said something like, “Well, that’s usually what women are referring to when they have exciting news.”

I looked over at the other male colleague with us.  He shook his head and backed me up.  “No, that’s not what it always means.”

“Okay then.  Tell us your exciting news,” the first colleague responded, defeated.

“I got a publication accepted in JTWC!”

He congratulated me and then went into a ten-minute explanation about why he wasn’t trying to publish and why he never would because he isn’t interested in academia as an end goal to his graduate studies.

It was strange.

But other than that, the response has been positive.  My adviser was so excited that he announced it to our entire class last week as a publication in a “premiere” journal in our field.  He also told me to “slow down.”  I guess you don’t want to graduate with more than one or two publications.

So, now I can relax for the next two years.  Ha ha.

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110 thoughts on “This Happened

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  1. Congratulations!! I am so proud of you Em! I’m honored to be your friend and to watch you enjoy some of the ‘spoils’ of all your hard work. Your work ethic is amazing. I love this blog and I love and adore you. What a great example you are to me. You deserve this honor and all that will surely follow. Bravo, young lady!

  2. Congratulations that is awesome! I visit your blog and enjoy reading your book reviews, but had no idea that you were also studying and had long term goals in academia. Well done on getting published, really pleased for you!

    1. Thank you so much. My studying is the reason why I’m posting less and less these days, but hopefully once this semester is done, I’ll have more time for my own interests.

  3. Congratulations, Emily! And I am actually quite interested in the topic of your article! As for the colleague, well, it’s a downer when people aren’t able to be happy for others. You may run into more and more of that as you progress and succeed in your career, but hopefully not.

  4. Wow, that is wonderful, EXCITING news! The fact that such a publication thinks that you have something important to contribute to a larger professional community is significant. I’d really like to read your article, too, by the way. And I have to say that I have started reading To Hell with All That based upon your recommendation, have started a mini book group based on that book, and I have ordered a copy of Of Woman Born. So, see? What you’ve already written has gotten people thinking and talking. You are on the radar! Congratulations!!

    1. Yay! This makes me so happy. I would love to hear what your book group ends up discussing. There is so much to talk abou when it comes to women and our “roles.” Thanks for the support!

  5. Wow! Congratulations! That’s huge. 🙂

    Also… I hate feeling like I have to qualify every exciting announcement of mine with “I’m not pregnant, but I have exciting news!”

    1. It is frustrating. I think I got that more before I had kids, but I’m sure it is even worse for you since everybody wants you to reproduce and to do it now! It is NONE of their business. 🙂

  6. Congrats, congrats!! That’s marvelous!!

    Also, WTF on the pregnancy thing?! That’s all women do?? Virtual high fives for this — getting an article in a peer-reviewed journal without revision is HUGE. Brava — bask in the glory!

  7. Oh my, how exciting! Congratulations! After reading your news, I’m sitting here with a big smile on my face because I am so happy for you. 🙂 When your paper is published, I will definitely read it (I have access to journals via my university). It sounds very interesting! I hope that one day I will see my work in print too; my goal is to become an academic.

  8. “When are you due?” Sooooooo annoying. Yes, I used excessive O’s to make my point. I am thrilled with your publication AnD your subject. Professional publication brings validity to the subject. You are awesome!

  9. That’s what I did for close to 35 years. As long as you don’t get bored by details and don’t mind never getting to use adjectives … and know when to use bullets vs. numbering, you’re home free! I made a good living. I liked it and I liked the people I worked with. Mostly.

  10. SO so proud of you!!! YAY!!! You are amazing. It’s so fun to see all your hard work paying off. This post made me laugh, because I can totally see who you are talking about when you told your colleagues. He’s just jealous…. So very proud and amazed at you, my friend!!

  11. Congratulations! The topic sounds really interesting and one I’d like to read whenever it is in print. And what an odd response by your colleague but he sounds like he might just be odd.

  12. Congrats to you. Slow down? If you are writing for publication in refereed journals and want to be a prof in a R1 university, don’t stop. You’re on the right track and with an interesting paper topic. Good luck. A former prof.

    1. Thank you, Judy. I do want to be at an R1. I guess the logic is to save some of what I’ve written in grad school to be published while I am working to get tenure. If you have more advice on this, I’d love to hear it. I’m all ears. It is so hard to “know” what to do!

  13. Congratulations! That is wonderful. I am so happy that you are on track to help you toward becoming a tenured professor. That sounds like such an interesting subject too, I’d love to read the article. I suppose you are not allowed to publish it online since it is being published in the journal. It is unfortunate but there is just so much sexism in the work place, which really amounts to ignorance. I am sorry that your male colleague felt so defensive that he had to assume you were pregnant and then rant about how it is “superior” to not be published. I have experienced that in my travels. I was once telling someone about places I have been and what my next travel plans were and they went on about how it is better to own a home with the 2 cars, dog, cat and 2.5 kids, etc. How it is wasteful and immature to spend all of my money traveling. So I can relate. People need to be more tolerant and accepting of what people feel is a personal triumph, that guy is just an ass. It is right for you to be really proud! Good luck to you in the rest of your Phd program.

    1. Thank you, Caitlin. I’m sorry that you’ve experienced this too. It seems like we tend to want to one-up each other, or that others’ accomplishments are somehow a reflection of our failures. We should instead be happy for others’ achievements. I try to do that. But I do understand how hard it can be and what envy feels like, so I guess I need to be gentle with this guy too. 🙂

  14. That is fantastic news! Good for you, Emily! It’s a big deal to get published in peer-reviewed journals. Your colleague is only thinly masking his envy by pretending he isn’t interested in the goal you’ve accomplished. Shame on him. Is he even a grown up? Anyway, true congratulations.

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