A few months ago, I submitted an application for my first academic promotion. The process was new to me, and the application fairly long and involved. It took me 2-3 months to produce the required 8 page case and a detailed CV. The promotion process feels a little like reapplying for your existing job at a higher level - it calls for honest and considered reflection on where you are in your career, what you've achieved so far, and where you're headed next. It requires you to explicitly identifyyourself to others, and evaluate your achievements, as a researcher, teacher, mentor, leader and citizen of the university.

Like job applications, I found producing the promotion application quite hard. My primary felt experience of the writing process was one of resistance - the feeling of not wanting to work on the application. More than being simply stuck or mired, I experienced a deep aversion to the task and all that it animated, a resistance that expressed itself in my mood, body, …

The Well Academic Writing Retreat



Earlier this month, I had two experiences that made me reflect on my relationship with time and the research process. These experiences - namely, patience and timeliness - felt qualitatively different from the sense of pressure and hurriedness that I and others often associate with academic publishing. In the next two posts, I share some first thoughts about what happened.

A few weeks ago, I met with a colleague to discuss what to do about an article of ours that had been recently rejected by a journal. I wasn't looking forward to the meeting, mostly because I felt quite unsure about what step to take next. To give a little context, my colleague and I first started writing the piece in early 2013. The idea came from a conference panel we did together in late 2012, after which we decided to develop the conversation between our papers into a broader argument. Today, it's a 6-7 year old draft. It has been peer-reviewed four times by readers at three different journals. It was …

Sitting with failure