Will getting published achieve what you think it will?
People want to be published. Whether it is a journal article, textbook, monograph, dissertation, or something else, the urge to be published is palpable with many scholars, researchers, and academics. I work with many people and they all have different motivations: tenure, career advancement, to have their work disseminated, financial rewards, and more. Many have a sense of urgency to them.
But will getting published achieve what you think it will?
Being published needs to be seen as one element in the overall constellation of your career and life. Yes, you may get tenure from an article being published. Yes, you may receive a royalty check from your textbook sales. But it is important to see the entire picture, the whole forest.
What you have to say and who hears it (or reads it) is more important. What is the long-term plan and how does each publication (of which there will likely be many more) support your overall goals? Having these goals, of course, is step one. Think and set these career goals and include publishing in them as a means to an end.
Getting an article published in a peer review journal is nice, and provides some validation, but how does it advance your research, academic, or writing careers? Each publication should be one more step along an intentional path. Think broader than just an article’s publication.
Quality work and your message (via your publication) are the most important elements to consider. Do it right. The road is long and there are few worthy short cuts. It is better to delay and be intentional, than to get that short win.
If you do not take the long road, then getting your first or desired publication may not have the emotional or career impact you expect. The sun will still rise and set the next day and the world will likely have changed little. But if you see a publication as a step or stop along your planned path, then it will be satisfying but not potentially disappointing.
There will likely be no one big publishing event that defines your career, ala a seminal paper or a book that changes your profession. However, taking your publishing career as a whole over a longer period of time, can be an impressive accomplishment that supports your academic and research work and that furthers your career.
An overall plan for your career and the work you involve yourself with, supplemented with quality writing and publishing efforts will pay off big dividends. The road is long. You simply need your personalized map and timetable. Make your own path.
John Bond is a publishing consultant at Riverwinds Consulting. He works with individuals on publishing and writing projects. Schedule an initial complimentary phone call at Publishing Fundamentals. In his career, he has directed the publishing of over 500 book titles and 20,000 journal articles. He is the host of the YouTube channel “Publishing Defined.” Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.