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.
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.