The Most Important Habit To Finish Your Publication

Why Is It so Hard to Make Progress on Your Publication?

It’s very rare that when you write a publication, it’s the only thing you are working on. Perhaps,  you are working on your Dissertation, doing research, writing other papers, or taking care of your family.

When there are so many things vying for your attention, your paper will just go to the back-burner. “I will work on it Mon-Wed-Fri for an hour in the evenings,” you tell yourself.

Except, you don’t. Or, at least, not consistently.

Consistency with writing is the key to submitting and publishing your paper. But, consistency is hard to achieve when you doubt yourself as a researcher, writer, and there is always something calling your attention.

Some of my students follow my advice of blocking time and every day to work on their paper. Depending on what else they have going on, it might be just 20 minutes a day.

For some students blocking out this time works, and for others it doesn’t. What’s the difference?

How come when one student blocks of 20 minutes a day they make progress on their paper, while others don’t?

One possibility is that the first student has better data, or they are further along with the writing process. While that s a possibility, it’s not the whole story.

A major barrier to progress (regardless of how much time you have) is the little negative voice inside your head. 

You know, the one who has been bugging you forever. This little voice will keep talking regardless of how good your data is or how many paper you have already published.

If you want to get that paper written, not only do you need to block time, but you also need to work with the little negative voice in your head.

Yvonne’s Publication Story

After finishing her PhD in Biology, Yvonne moved to the other side of the country to do a postdoc. The paper she had submitted in graduate school had been rejected. Based on the feedback from reviewers, Yvonne knew that she had to collect more data to resubmit to another journal. But, how could she collect more data if she wasn’t physically present at her old university?

She discussed the problem with her PhD supervisor and he agreed to ask his lab manager to collect the data. For the next few months, Yvonne, her PhD supervisor, and the lab manager worked together on the paper and submitted it to another journal. Yvonne’s paper was rejected again. On her third try, Yvonne’s paper was accepted to another journal with major revisions.

When Yvonne’s paper was finally accepted (a year and a half after her original submission) she could hardly believe how much work had gone into this single publication.

During this process Yvonne uncovered a simple, yet powerful principle behind getting your paper published: you need to overcome one obstacle at a time, and keep going.

There were times when publishing her paper seemed impossible. Yet, by clarifying one obstacle at a time, and working on her paper daily, she was able to solve one problem at a time.


Have a Safe Space For Writing Your Publication

When you embark writing your publication, you will encounter challenges that you had not foreseen: missing data, inconsistencies in your analyses, and gaps in your argument.

This is why it is so important to block off time and view it as a “container.”

I like this word because it’s neutral, and encompasses a variety of tasks that you need to do to get your paper published. Yes, you use this time for writing, but it can be: editing, free-writing, copying the Methods section from another document etc. It’s just a time for moving your paper forward.

Use your “container” of time to move your publication forward in some way.

Academic writing is a process of exploration.

When you are writing, you are exploring ideas and you are defining problems as much as you are solving them.

This is why writing can be scary. When yo finally sit down to write, you uncover how much you don’t know, and that can be discouraging.

You may be tempted to take a pause from writing when it gets “scary”, but that’s when you need the most courage to keep writing.

That’s when you need to just show up during that container of time that you set aside.

There is no judgement during that time.  It’s a safe space where you can put words on the paper.

There is magic in putting words on the paper. As soon as you define the problem and where you are stuck, you are a step closer to finding a solution.

My publications finally picked up momentum when I started free-writing about why I was stuck, angry or frustrated.

Yes, you can use your writing time for writing about your feelings on your paper – how cool is that?

Use your “safe” writing time to move your paper forward in any way that you can: whether it’s editing, free-writing, analysis, or creating new content.

Should you read during the time you are writing your publication?

I don’t recommend reading during your “safe” writing time, because that will just give more power to your negative voice who will compare you to those other authors. The more you read, the more you realize you don’t know.

Even if you don’t make progress on your actual publication during this time, it’s much more valuable to use your writing time to define the problem, than to overwhelm yourself with even more info.

Write first. Read later.

Use your “safe” writing time solely for writing. Any kind of writing related to your paper will do: creating, editing, or free-writing.


The post The Most Important Habit To Finish Your Publication appeared first on Finish Your Thesis.

find the cost of your paper

Shuffle An Array

Today’s exercise comes to us from Leetcode via Reddit:

Given an array consisting of 2n elements in the form
[x1,x2,…,xn,y1,y2,…,yn], return the array in the form [x1,y1,x2,y2,…,xn,yn].

The Reddit poster claims to be new to Scheme and functional programming, and was thinking of a solution using length and list-ref, but couldn’t solve the problem.

Your task is to show the student how to solve the problem. When you are
finished, you are welcome to read or run a suggested solution, or to post your own solution or discuss the exercise in the comments below.

Blog Tour Review: Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather

Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch, #2) by Adriana Mather

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Series: How to Hang a Witch, #2
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Source: Publisher

The Titanic meets the delicious horror of Ransom Riggs and the sass of Mean Girls in this follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Hang a Witch, in which a contemporary teen finds herself a passenger on the famous “ship of dreams”—a story made all the more fascinating because the author’s own relatives survived the doomed voyage.

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one. 

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship. 

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

Haunting the Deep is the follow up to How to Hang a Witch which follows Sam on another ghostly mission to break a spell that could quite possibly send Sam to watery grave. Anything and everything Titanic related intrigues me and the fact that this book follows Sam as she tries to navigate the mysterious workings that kept luring her onto the Titanic was just as spellbinding. Mather continues to impress by magically weaving a fascinating tale which was inspired by her own relatives surviving the voyage.

This book kept me immersed in its wonderfully woven mystery and never let go. I couldn’t put this book down no matter how many times I knew I needed to get some sleep before work. I couldn’t be more satisfied with how everything unfolded in this book. It was so great to live and experience with these characters. Fans of How to Hang a Witch will be thrilled that this book is just as captivating.

Haunting the Deep is a great follow up to How to Hang a Witch. The history, the magic, and yes the ghosts are just as enchanting. I would recommend this book to readers of all ages! It’s just that impressive!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Check out the book trailer!

Traveling West Virginia – Hawks Nest – New River Gorge Trail

We don’t do as much traveling as we used to. But we recently took a day trip to southern West Virginia.

Our first stop was Hawks Nest State Park. If you have traveled there before, you know where they get the expression half the fun is getting there – that is unless you are prone to motion sickness. If you are, then I would advise you to sit in the front seat of the car.

We have been to Hawks Nest many times, but this is the first time we ever rode the tram down to the river.

We wanted to ride the jet boats, but they were all booked up.

 So we did the next item on our list. We went on a hike. My husband has a bad knee, so he didn’t go with my son and me. He loves to talk, so he stayed and talked to the tram guys.

The hike was beautiful – a path filled with large rocks, rhododendron, foot bridges, caves, snakes . . .

Of course, my son had to climb up onto the first big rock we came to. Boys will be boys.

And speaking of snakes. This is where I encountered a baby snake wriggling under my shoe. I didn’t stay long enough to see what kind he was, but he wasn’t a black snake.

On the way back down the trail on this neat little foot bridge.

Our next stop was at a trail we had never walked on before. You drive over the New River Gorge Bridge, which is an experience I never tire of, and then travel a local road to a set of trails that take you to a great place for a photo op of the bridge.

I never took any pictures along the trail because we were in a hurry. We even sprinted in a few places. I never walked a trail so fast in my life. It was late and given the length of the trail we were going to be walking back in the dark. Thank goodness for cell phone flash lights!

The first mile and 3/4 was a fairly easy walk. But the last 1/4 mile was a heavy breather. This is approaching the end of the trail. And believe me when I tell you the view was well worth the huffing and puffing. 

This was as far out as I would venture. My son said that I couldn’t fall off unless I just walked off the edge. I said different — You could trip. You could slide. You could get woozy. So I played it safe.

We still got some great pictures. My son even took a few selfies.

After enjoying the view and taking a bunch of pictures, we started back. And yes, it was in the dark. I kept imagining encounters with wild animals, but none appeared.

My son said, “If we see Big Foot, shine the light while I take the picture.”
I told him, “Please make it a clear picture.”
For some reason all the pics people take of Big Foot are blurry. 😊

Press this link to a list of trails in the area. I would like to try them all out. The name of the trail we took is the Long Point Trail.

 Hope you enjoyed this Traveling West Virginia.

Have you ever been to either of these places?

If not, I hope you get to visit some day.