"You can't write and now you're homeless!"

Posted by September Blue Friday, 4 April 2008

The rejection from the journal arrived on the same day as the formal notice from my landlords, giving me two months to take myself and all my stuff to yet another home. We'll draw a veil over my first response to this, and just say that I've calmed down now.

On the first thing: there are not words to express how much I hate moving, except maybe to say that I hate it even more than all the people who've helped me move in the past and have sworn on their ancestor's blood that they will never, ever, ever, help me move again. I love the theory of moving, of being able to detach myself from somewhere as soon as the crack in the bathroom ceiling starts looking troubling and start again new somewhere else, but I have so much stuff now that the practice makes me want to die. I want moving to be like the end of Breakfast At Tiffany's, where I'd call up someone to pack all my stuff into a taxi as quickly as he could and meet me on the way to an airport; instead, it's like some twisted version of the twelve labours of Hercules, where I have to not only clean the Aegean stables but take them apart to reassemble somewhere else. So damn it, landlords.

On the second thing: okay, 'rejection'. It's a revise-and-resubmit. And it seems to be fairly good, as far as revise-and-resubmits go? Maybe? There were words like 'brilliant' in there, and more than one of them, and more than once. One reviewer recommended accepting it with minor corrections, and the other thought it needed heftier revisions to add more stuff about X, Y and Z, but loved most of P and Q, and some of R, and parts of S, and thought it would definitely be probably the kind of thing the journal wanted with those changes made. Also, 'brilliant'. They seriously said that.

But it remains a 'no'.

But it is not necessarily a now-and-forever 'no'.

And for all the nightmare stories I've ever heard about anonymous peer review, nobody ever mentioned that this would be the first point in my post-PhD job hunt misery that I might feel my kicked-around academic ego start struggling back to its feet.


  1. I wouldn't count a revise and resubmit as a rejection. A go away and don't come back is a rejection. A revise and resubmit is pretty par for the course until perhaps your prof- and then I have heard some stories.

    In my personal experience of revise and resubmit (which to be honest is not huge), the advice I have been given has made for a better article and has been relatively painless. You make the changes, your resubmit and they accept. Just think of it as being part of the learning curve- the phd didn't make us perfect academics- the revise and resubmit is ensuring that your produce the best work you can. And while it might be a pain, you might be grateful in five years time when you look back at your naive self!!

    Moving house on the otherhand sucks!

  2. Francofou Says:
  3. I agree with f.a.
    Just revise.
    Leave the brilliant parts in, though.
    Will we ever be able to know when and where it is published?

  4. Autumn Song Says:
  5. Wow! You're well on your way to publication with a revise and resubmit. Well done! Sorry, about the moving thing though...

  6. Thanks, all of you! The revisions asked for are fair enough, and the article will end up being better for them, so I do plan to send it back.

    Francofou - Not until I'm rich and famous...