As a journalist-turned-academic, I find the hardest change is waiting for things to be published. When I was a radio journalist I had deadlines every hour. Now I have deadlines every couple of months, and after the deadline I have to wait months more for what I’ve written to be published.
There’s a lot to be said for the satisfying feeling of having your work broadcast within a few hours (or minutes sometimes) of completing it. Though there’s also a lot to be said for not starting work at 6am and not having the pressure of deadlines every hour, which was partly why I changed to specialist writing, which is more lifestyle-friendly.
In the past, when I edited academic documents that had publications “in press”, I used to roll my eyes, because I thought that people were reaching a bit. But now I understand! I probably won’t have anything published in 2009, though there are several things “in press”, not to mention various draft papers that are floating around, waiting for input from busy people.
Such is academia. Welcome to the slow lane.
I got an email the other day approving my articles for the Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication, which is being published by Sage. It’s due to be published in July 2010. I wrote about science circuses around the world, a biography of J. Craig Venter, and the theory of deliberative democracy.
I hope at least some of my journal articles are published before then! Watch this space… or grass grow. That might be quicker.