Monday, January 16, 2006

Back to the Drawing Board

Today I applied for an adminstrative support post at my university. I did so with little energy and half a heart. The job search brings surprises, but at this moment I'll be surprised if anybody calls me about anything.

I also sent off a package of materials for a faculty post at the University of I-Really-Don't-Want-to-Live-There. But I'm feeling ever more stuck in a rut. Maybe, I keep reminding myself, I just need to get a job, somewhere, even if it means spending half the week away from my family. Maybe I've been too selective (though with 30-some apps out there, it's hard to imagine). Perhaps I need more teaching experience. More likely, I need some publications in more prominent journals. I have five pubs, but none in a big journal.

I feel like I've been out on the boat fishing for days without a bite... the weather is drizzly, and my clothes are wet. I'm really beginning to get hungry, but I can't remember if I even like the taste of fish. Yet here I sit.

Yeah, others have been here, and many are still.

I sent out a preliminary inquiry about a week and a half ago, to a second tier journal that might be a good venue for a distillation of my dissertation. Their website says you should send an inquiry to the editors in advance of submitting a complete article. I'd be happy with a form letter that says, "thanks but no thanks". Anything. But I get silence. Is 11 days too short a wait? WHY? Skylar suggested in comments to a recent post of mine that I may simply be hypersensitive to silence these days. I can't deny it.

I've foregone submitting papers for conferences this year. I think publications are more what I need at the moment... if only I could write. I've said before that I operate in spurts of productivity. I mull over an idea for a long time. I read. I compare. I consider. Then bang, I've got the energy and the follow through. It was that way with the dissertation (especially after the comments I received from the first 100 pages).

I read and read, selected materials, and considered them. I spent months working on aspects of the research that I eventually excluded entirely from the dissertation. But eventually I reached a point of readiness to write.

Deep breath. Deep breath. I know I can do it again. I simply have to let go of the job search. Return to my own thoughts. I do what I do because it speaks to me, because I have things to say that are worth saying.

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