Now Accepting Compassion and Encouragement

So I just got news that my article has been rejected for publication because it’s not original enough.

On the positive side, this is a good journal that sent me three detailed reviews which said very good things about my knowledge of the subject matter and my writing style. They also gave useful suggestions for future revisions of the article. At least, this isn’t one of those cases where reviewers are either mean to you or just tell you “Not acceptable” with no explanation.

Of course, I’m still very sad about this. So now I’m accepting compassion and encouragement of the “Oh no, Clarissa, you are super brilliant and we adore you” variety.

In the meanwhile, I will be weeping quietly in the corner.

37 thoughts on “Now Accepting Compassion and Encouragement

  1. Sorry to hear that. I always have in mind the metaphor of a boxing match. I must admit that this is not always an entirely useful metaphor, especially as I engaged with it towards the end of my thesis, when it became partly apparent to me that intellectual pursuits are not necessarily approached in an entirely visceral way — at least, this is not how most people approach them. All the same, it seems to me that you have to take a certain amount of hits, even if you win out in the end. Also, the more peculiar or radical the thesis is, that you are advancing, the more hits you are likely to take.

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    1. Believe it or not, I’ve had this very article rejected at another place in the past because “nobody said this before”. I think the more exact language was “los planteamientos de este articulo se alejan demasiado de la vision aceptada de la obra en cuestion.” Something like this.

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      1. Well, if it’s any consolation, I’ve had an article accepted after 2 years of reject/major revisions/minor revisions game with three different journals no less (one after the other, of course)! And finally finally it’s now accepted in possibly the best of the three journals.

        So, don’t give up, perseverance pays in the end. šŸ™‚

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      2. Also, what I normally do is that, after looking at rejection message and reviews, I put the message away for about a week. This is to let my anger/disappointment disapper a bit (because yes, I do get extremelly upset when I receive the message) and after this cooling off period I am more able to look at comments calmly and find a way to revise.

        I also like step 2 from this post:
        http://getalifephd.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-respond-to-revise-and-resubmit.html
        I think if you do this (i.e. create a separate document from reviewers’ comments yourself), then you don’t have to look at the original message that got you so upset and which has a potential to get you upset again. This helps to calmly plan your revisions for resubmission somewhere else.

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  2. Oh no, Clarissa, you are super brilliant and we adore you! šŸ˜‰
    Seriously, I am very sorry… Rejection sucks.
    I don’t know how it is in humanities journals, but were you flat out rejected or did they invite you to resubmit after major revisions? If rejected, do you have a plan for where to send it next?
    On the bright side, if you are never rejected, that means you are selling yourself short and not submitting to prominent enough journals.

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    1. Thank you, GMP. It was utterly, completely and totally rejected by 2 of the reviewers while the 3rd one was on the fence.

      I have no idea where I’ll send it after I make it more original. I’m so bad at rewriting, too. Well, that’s life.

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  3. Oh no, Clarissa, you are super brilliant and we adore you. ))) You write remarkably and this journal will necessarily accept your following article and will be happy to work with such talented woman )))

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    1. Thank you, Jonathan. Although now I’m kind of scared of sending it to this fancy journal you recommended.

      Maybe I should start sending to some really obscure crappy journals. Does anybody know any?

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      1. Revise and send to the fancy journal Jonathan recommended. Be brave and always go for the high diving board.

        Nothing sucks more than drastically lowering your criteria and then getting rejected by the obscure journal. Sort of like trying to make yourself date someone you really don’t like so you wouldn’t be alone and then be rejected by them!

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        1. Yes, like a friend of mine once said, “I only ever got involved with this guy because he is such a loser that I thought nobody would want him. But then he found somebody desperate enough to sleep with him and cheated on me!” šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

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  4. My commiserations. I hope you are already working on the next article? You are definitely super brilliant but you are not going to show it while weeping in the corner.

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    1. I can weep very artistically, though. šŸ™‚

      I’m sending the next one out tomorrow, although I’m already terrified. I’m not sure I’m emotionally resilient enough for this aspect of my profession.

      THANK YOU for the support!!

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      1. “Iā€™m not sure Iā€™m emotionally resilient enough for this aspect of my profession.”

        Your autobiographical blogs provide overwhelming evidence that you are intelligent, resilient, resourceful and determined.

        Perhaps you should have a read of them to remind you how tough you are.

        This is a small hurdle in comparison to those you have already jumped.

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  5. There there, there there. I’d normally offer you a dip in my special emergency jar of cheer-up nutella, but I know you don’t like chocolate, so I’ll just say, no worries, I’m sure your next article will be accepted, and rejections like these are merely pebbles on the road to better, accepted and universally praised papers.

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  6. You should not be crying. I don’t know for you, but I have been complaining for years that the comments I receive on my work are vague and not helpful at all. Now that my last two papers have been rejected with harsh criticism I should almost feel “happy.” For me, a rejection with insightful explanations and observations makes you a better writer. It is very precious.

    But that does not mean that the anonymous readers who rejected your paper were not complete idiots.

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      1. Oh, and also Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!! Let’s give thanks to fate that we always have Montreal to go back to!

        My entire family is having a huge delicious celebration right now. Without me.

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  7. Happy Thanksgiving? Do you remember the Canadian Thanksgiving feast you know were? I remember us signing Oh Canada… That was an exotic experience.

    On rejection: a quick review on the top journals in our field reveal how parochial some of these journals sometimes are.

    I need a journal called Extreme Hispanism… or Radical Hispanism:)

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    1. Oh, that was such a fun celebration. All those Canadians together. šŸ™‚ And the cider fountain. . .

      It seems like I need a journal called “Unoriginal, Boring but Well-Written and Erudite Hispanism.” šŸ™‚

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  8. I know I’m coming late to the party. But you WILL get your article published eventually. And at least you have an article in circulation–which is much better than not having any article at all. I recently suffered a rejection from my “dream journal” and was sooooooooooo disappointed. But I told myself that at least I am getting rejected from a prestigious journal. šŸ˜‰ And I actually think that it makes us better teachers if we have to face rejection and revise our work. It’s all part of the process. Anyway, I know you know all this. But I just wanted to say that I understand and that I believe in you. You are a great blog writer and I’m sure that translates to your academic writing as well. Go Clarissa! šŸ™‚

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  9. I only discovered your blog recently, but I enjoy your writing very much. It’s interesting and thought-provoking, even when we disagree. Or perhaps especially then. Rejection sucks, but your work is good and if this time they don’t see that, they will next time.

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