Wednesday, March 19, 2014

To Publish or Not to Publish: That is the Question

                I’ve been discussing my paper idea with a good friend of mine who also happens to be an English major. She’s read Dracula and is familiar enough with Alice in Wonderland that I think she has some good insight as to some of the things I could talk about. I’ve also bounced the symbolic ideas off of my roommates and they think it sounds interesting, even though they haven’t actually read the books.
                I definitely think that I want to compare the symbolism in Dracula to that in Alice, but I also want to talk about what the symbolism does to the plot. For Dracula, I think the symbolism is a foreshadowing tool, while in Alice I think that the symbolism is used to draw more connections in the way our minds draw connections. I’m still a little iffy about whether or not I can find evidence about the last part. Who knows though, maybe the research will help me come up with even more ideas?
                As an editing minor, I’ve helped several people I know become published authors. Two of them asked me to edit their papers for religious symposiums, and I have helped two more be published on the student journal I work for. I feel confident in my abilities to help them be published, but it’s a different story when it comes to my own writing.
                In order to get published, the first place I would try is through the journal I work for, Criterion. It’s a journal for literary criticism and since that’s what this paper is, I think that would be the best way to try to get published. Since I’m an editor, I know what the journal is looking for, which gives me a leg-up on the competition.

                If I decide not to submit my paper to Criterion then I would most likely try to submit it into the English symposium, depending on whether or not I think it fits. I feel like there are a lot of options that I have on campus that I should take advantage of first! (There’s a smaller pool and it’s local so that means I have a better chance of getting selected.)

                What it all boils down to is whether or not I'm comfortable with being published. I enjoy writing... but I'm a perfectionist when I know lots of people will read what I write. The bad part about writing is that there's always something more you could do or another thing you could have changed. I'll have to learn to accept all of this if I decide to get published. I'll also have to suck up my pride, but that's a different story.


  1. That seems to be the issue with writing, the whole "oh there is something I can fix." It is like that in art, for me at least. Some line looks a bit odd? then I erase it over and over and over. some line in any kind of writing looks weird for me? I rewrite multiple time, look at the thesaurus, then do my best to find a word or phrase I feel comfortable with.

    Anyway, I like how you talk about using what we have on campus.l For one, we are already part of this community.

  2. I think it's funny how we can be very distinguished in one talent or another and can even use that talent to help other people, but it is incredibly difficult to use (or to visualize how to use) our talents for our own personal gain. Luckily, if you're an editing minor you probably know other editors so you can get around the problem you mentioned early in your post.

  3. It's not about being comfortable with being published. I don't think we ever will be. It's about doing it anyway, and accepting the discomfort. That is how you will grow as a writer. Trying to perfect an essay on your own will not help improve your abilities. We need to stretch. We need to reach. We need to be uncomfortable.