Wednesday, July 8, 2009

First Time Authors - into the abyss

I guess I wanted to ask how people who have written and been published felt when they sent their material "into the abyss". You write and write, but how do you know when you are finished - that it is right? That its good enough to be shown to others? I would appreciate some veiw points from those that have moved to the next step.

2 comments:

Siobhan Dunne said...

Hi Jess, I know what you mean about letting it go. This has worked for me; when you think its finished, wait a few days, revisit it, make any further ammendments then show it to some colleagues. It's also useful to show it to someone outside the library world so they can look at structure, grammar and see if the article 'flows'. Are you still in touch with your 'buddy' from Helen's workshops?

Avril said...

Jess, I am just catching up with this now, so hope it isn't too late to comment. I agree with Siobhan. I would usually get somebody with some knowledge of the topic to read the paper before submission, and also someone with little or no knowledge to read for clarity. Perhaps I am just fortunate, but colleagues have been generous with their time and expertise in this area. However, it is worth remembering that the article must also go through the editorial process, which can be subjective. While the peer review process ranks by certain (often known)criteria, the subsequent editing process, which focusses more on language, can seem somewhat arbitrary. You may wish to defend your writing, or choice of language, but although frustrating, changes are sometimes made to adhere to a specific house style or editorial preference. All in all, if you feel it's ready, let it go. Don't sacrifice the good for the perfect! Good luck.