Tonight I popped over to look at the CVs of a couple young faculty members in my host department. Wow... I was initially floored by the sheer volume of publications and presentations. Then, I realized that while they are both likely around my same age, the first completed his PhD in 2000 (the year I began my doctoral program) and the second received her PhD in 1997. So, yeah, wow... but it's not out of reach.
I simply have to set myself some goals. Alright, I've been out of conferences for over a year. But I had been doing pretty well with them. I have given a few invited talks this year so far, have one more scheduled, and can probably finagle a couple more. So, I've got to massage the cogs... and I've got to prepare some abstracts for conferences.
Most importantly perhaps I've got to get moving on more publications. Still haven't heard anything back from the last journal (other than the initial acknowledgement). It's only been three weeks, though, so I can't read much into that. In any case, I have no control over it now. If it's returned with comments, then I can do something with it. But I've got some new ideas for smaller articles, and I've started working on them. I've really been a bit hesitant to submit articles. I think in some ways my attitude hasn't been that far from what the Academic Coach described as going Academic AWOL, only it's the longer I go without publishing a "big" article, the bigger the splash I think is required.
Instead, what I really need is to keep plugging away. I need to take full advantage of my situation right now. Time, I have. The energy, I need to muster. I need to set myself some concrete and ambitious but achievable goals for the coming months. Who knows, I may yet land myself a one-year post. But I've got to keep that three-year plan in mind. If I don't, I may slip... and I'm not sure I'd be able to recover from that.