Random Bullets of Competition and Exhortation

1. I have sent a creative piece to a highly competitive venue where it will, most likely, not get in. I am going to do it anyway. For reasons having to do with genre, style, and length, this venue is the most appropriate one I know of. I was not sure the manuscript is finished, but I am tired and I wanted it off my back for a while. Knowing that the piece will probably be rejected will keep me working on it in the background; this is a good thing since it is part of a larger project I intend to keep working on.

2. On the question of competition and suffering, I think the reason academics engage in competitive suffering is the idea that suffering is proof of effort, and effort is an indication of quality. There is something wrong with the presuppositions that inform these ideas. It is entirely possible that effort, suffering, and quality are unrelated, and that effort and pleasure, quality and joy are close cousins.

3. I think a reason I am confused generally is that I have listened to long to explanations of academia designed for neophytes and the unaware. I have taken the repeated lectures to mean it is clear I have not internalized these principles well enough, when in fact I have already internalized them too well. I have been given so many caution signals, so many warnings, that I have given up too much ground.

4. Remember, you must live in places you would not choose, remember, if your views are controversial it will be hard to publish, remember, limit teaching and service, remember, limit yourself, remember remember, limit limit. These are the things I was told again and again.

5. I also lost my voice. But instead of recognize this I decided I had suddenly, rather late in life, fallen into poor time management. My attempts to produce via time management, without addressing the question of voice, were as destructive as the event that silenced me in the first place, perhaps.

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3 Responses to Random Bullets of Competition and Exhortation

  1. Z says:

    It is submitted to two places now, high prestige online venues that take multiple submissions, and I am thinking of also sending it to a paper journal now that I am over the shock of submitting it. but I meant to add to it: remember remember, surrender surrender, limit limit. I will have to add that to the expanded version, if there is one.

  2. Hattie says:

    You seem to be expanding at a great rate. And I know what you mean about time management. I am amazed at how well my daughters do with this compared to me. It’s out of necessity, because they have to be highly productive both at work and at home. They are very energetic, luckily.

  3. Z says:

    Expanding, I hope so! Glad it looks that way, because it doesn’t FEEL that way every day. 🙂

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