The Comm and Gender Spot

Thursday, September 08, 2005

What If You've Lost Interest?

For those that do not know, the world of higher academia places quite a bit of value on the publishing of your research in major academic journals. This can be a long and arduous process, and still the journal editor may decide to decline your manuscript. This can be a heart wrenching experience, particularly when you feel like you put so much time and effort into what you thought was a great piece of writing. But what do you do when something that you don’t care as much about is rejected?

Last year at this time I was enrolled in a class about content analysis, a research methodology used frequently in my field. As a class we worked on this project together. This project entailed looking at the websites for all of the broadcast networks’ prime-time programs and coding the demographics and salience of each the character visibly featured. This sounded like an interesting project and was fun to do at the time. Fast forward one year. This paper has been presented at a major conference and was submitted to a journal. We’ve all since moved on to other projects, but yesterday I received a rejection letter from the journal’s editor. While the letter was very positive, and even suggested another possible journal to submit it to where the piece may fit in better, since I’ve moved on from this project I really am not sure how much time I want to devote to whipping this piece into shape so that it is in the condition it needs to be so that it can be submitted elsewhere.

This is a problem that plagues me all the time. How do you wrap your mind around a project/topic/idea that you thought was long finished, particularly when your personal interests are now focused on something new? How can that spark be renewed?


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