I’m in the midst of editing a paper I wrote. It’s a paper I decided to write after deciding, “Hey, I’m going to be starting grad school this fall. I should totally practice getting back into the research process, including writing a paper!” It was one of those, “Yeah! This is such a great idea!” moments that a couple of months later, I’m tempted to go back in time to that moment and punch that voice in the face.
The paper has become a dementor. You know, a paper that morphs into something utterly soul-sucking, or at the very least, leaves you feeling like you’ll never be happy again. And one that requires a lot of chocolate to get through.
Part of what is making this paper a dementor is my hope that if I made this paper really great, there is the possibility of submitting it for publication. I keep editing it, and there is the constant nagging in my mind that the paper isn’t good enough. Then one day last week, I was sitting outside when it hit me: it either will be published, or it won’t; at some point in the future, that has already been decided. I just have to keep plugging along for now, editing, to be able to find the answer to the publication question.