Research Plans

I need to write 2,000 words per week on the new book to get done when I need to get done. It would be a piece of cake if that’s the only thing I had to do. I also need to finish an article by the end of February and another by the end of April. Both are invited, and I couldn’t say no to the wonderful people who invited me. But I also want to impress them, so that they don’t regret asking. I also have to write a conference talk by the end of March. And this is just what I’m doing this semester.

In my first couple of years on the tenure track, I thought it was perfectly reasonable to spend the time from now to the end of March working on nothing but the conference talk. And my conference talks kind of sucked. It takes time to figure out how research works and to find your stride.

If only I didn’t feel compelled to take on completely new topics all the time. What kind of a crazy person goes into a completely new field all of a sudden? I mean, I do know somebody like this, so I’m not alone. But it’s scary and sometimes takes my breath away with the feeling of, “gosh, what if the real specialists in the field rip me into pieces for this?” And I love that feeling.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Research Plans”

  1. I was the opposite, used to be efficient like this but had it beat out of me. It’s a great feeling to put research first.

    Something many people do, that I disagree with, is specialize in just one thing. And I don’t mean make progress in that, necessarily — just kind of stir around in it, write papers that kind of repeat each other. It does make you look productive, but … I don’t know …

    I feel fragmented but I like having all these new topics. It’s exciting and exhilarating and I don’t actually think it’s dilettantish, the way the time managers say it is sometimes. And all the interesting faculty I’ve ever known had different projects going on. The super-specialization is convenient if you have so d—-d much happening on campus, pulling in different directions, and have to do all your own legwork and support, but I find that depressing and want all my different projects no matter how impractical it looks.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.