Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Revise and Resubmit

I just got back the two reviewers' comments from Children's Literature in Education on my paper, "'Better Times Are Coming Now': Wartime Dreams and Disenchantment in Rufus M." The verdict? The paper has promise, but it needs to be MASSIVELY revised before it can be deemed publishable.

Why am I not surprised? This is the story of my life as a writer and a scholar. In fact, if I were to write an intellectual autobiography, Revise and Resubmit would be an excellent title for it.

It's always a TAD disappointing, of course, to read through the LENGTHY comments pointing out all that remains to be done. But I have to remind myself: this is my PROCESS. I always send off a paper too soon, before it is as good as it needs to be. And I always send it off too soon for a very good reason. Because on my own, unassisted, I don't know how to make it as good as it needs to be.

The suggestions I received this morning are invaluable. I now have a list of books to read, points to develop, arguments to expand. I have a plan! It will take a TON of work to do all of this, work that I may well need to defer until next summer, but it's all work that I know how to do and will enjoy doing. And then I'll have a vastly stronger paper. No: I will have the definitive scholarly paper on this book. A paper written by me, but with lots of help from two brilliant anonymous reviewers (well, one brilliant anonymous reviewer and one VERY brilliant not-really-anonymous reviewer, because I can always recognize the particular pattern of this scholar's brilliance).

So now I'm to write on my list of "Nice Things and Accomplishments" for October: "Revise and resubmit comments on Rufus M." Getting these IS a nice thing. And it's going to lead, in time, to one heck of an accomplishment.

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