Writing for Publication – Strategies

I met with a colleague and friend whom I peer-to-peer mentor with (unofficially). It’s a fruitful relationship, where I feel listened to but also, at times, challenged – to think differently or do things that may help me move forward.

Since passing my viva, my attention has turned to the question of publishing. This is a question in this case because it’s quite time-honoured to just work up as many papers from the thesis as possible. It involves breaking a completed whole down into the compact size preferred by many academic journals, and using each one as a treatment of an individual novel aspect of the PhD to circulate to the academic community. What feels different about mine is that it lends itself to being a whole book. This is not unheard of, but the work required and the concerns I need to address are quite different from journal article publishing – and, in addition, it feels like an enormous task – one that wouldn’t be completed for some time. This would leave me publicationless for ages.


So I met with Clare to talk over what a realistic plan is, where I should focus my time and effort, and how I can create the best impact with the minimum time possible (given that my day job doesn’t allow me a great deal of time for the thinking-space needed to produce meaningful publications). What came out of this feels like a strategy that I hope (I believe) I can stick to, that doesn’t involve extreme overwork (like the last year of the PhD) and yet yields results in disseminating my research. This is something that is not only important within academic, but more personally within my research. after all, what was the point of undertaking the work if people then never get to find out about the experiences that the men shared with me.

Therefore, below is what I am going to tackle:

  1. I have 2 andragogic publications already currently in progress. These need giving end dates and a schedule worked out to fulfil completion. I began them in 2016 and they’re in danger of drifting.
  2. Begin work on the RP work by reviewing the tasks and selecting one to start up.
  3. Contact my preferred publisher.
  4. Work up formal book proposal – it is estimated that this may take up to 2 days’ worth of work by my mentor.
  5. While the proposal is in for consideration – bearing in mind that it can take ages to get someone to accept – I will begin work on a substantive article – aimed initially at the key international journal in my field.
  6. This article needs to be data & findings driven to make sure my interpretive work gets out there to reach an audience (as opposed to Lit Review material or methodological stuff – I can always do these later.

This is how I intend to devote my time up to April, to try to get something at least into review because before I know it, it’ll be half-way through 2017 and it’ll turn out that I’m still not progressing things. At least this way I have a finite number of tasks to complete within each larger objectives.