Sunday, June 7, 2009

Getting Naked

Look, it’s like a pool party OK? You have to suck it up (and in) and show a little skin. You are going to have to let your ass hang out. I’ve tried to explain this before, but I am not getting through. Your manuscript is three times too long because you are constantly trying to cover every inch of your ass. I know you are new to the research publication party, but don’t you want to show up dressed appropriately? It’s like a pool party and bathing suits are required. You simply cannot arrive in Arctic expedition attire. It’s uncomfortable I know. And no, an 1800s style “bathing suit” doesn’t work either. You just have to put yourself out there. You are obligated to cover the most sensitive parts, the delicate parts of your argument that would hurt most to get burned, but the rest is just going to have to be left exposed and open to scrutiny. It’s OK, it just takes some getting used to.

If you don’t delete your endless paragraphs of ass-coverings you will never get this insanely lengthy manuscript published. That means you’ll never get to join the pool party. No ordering drinks at the swim-up bar, no rides on the boat, no going down the pool slide, and you can forget about EVER being invited to the exclusive all-nude beach party. Edit until you are down to your swimsuit, slather yourself in some sunscreen (SPF Confidence Level 30 should do just fine) and join the damn party.

15 comments:

  1. "You are obligated to cover the most sensitive parts, the delicate parts of your argument that would hurt most to get burned, but the rest is just going to have to be left exposed and open to scrutiny. It’s OK, it just takes some getting used to."

    Wow, Dr. No. That's an absolutely brilliant metaphor for publishing one's ideas. Funny, yes, but so very painfully true.

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  2. Fantastic! Now I have two types of swimsuit fitting rooms to abhor. So much for my swim skirts.

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  3. But in both situations, beware the Speedo.

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  4. If you only my dissertation chair could get on the same page!

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  5. Oh, my, but this is exactly what both feel like, especially as gravity sets in and the years of one too many bags of Three Musketeers miniatures and the decade of sitting on that extra cushioning. All you can do is say, "yeah, this is it! Love it or leave it!"

    Miss Ramona, depending on the field, I think the definition of dissertation is "ass-covering." I was lucky in that my advisor thought that ass-covering was a big waste of time. "Stick it in the notes and be done with it," he said. He also said, "you can't get through this thing unless you begin to drink."

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  6. I love this post. I think it's my favorite so far. Great advice for me right now...trying to peel some layers off of my own manuscript, and also dreading the upcoming (actual, not metaphorical) pool party. My ass has been sitting in this damn computer chair working on this fracking manuscript for so long that it is no longer fitting into the swimsuit. Ugh. Time to bite the bullet.

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  7. Got mine down from 126k down to 95. Bikini time.

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  8. Love this post Dr No. I suffer greatly from overdressing when I write and often have to play strip poker to get it right.

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  9. Great post Dr No. I suffer greatly from having overdressed manuscripts in the draft stages and often have to play pass the parcel with colleagues/advisors so they can strip off the unnecessary layers.

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  10. Damn double posting because I still had to log in to Wordpress and thought I lost the first comment *mumble mutter grr*

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  11. So true! Great post.

    Although, wouldn't it be nice if publishing academic books actually led to pool parties and swim-up bars?

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  12. OK, OK, what do you do when the editor of the journal sends out your piece to 6 reviewers--and admittedly only 5 reply so that makes it easier, doesn't it?--all of whom want different things. Then when you do it, the editor says it's too long....!!! What the hell do you wear then???

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  13. I absolutely love this metaphoric comparison. Fucking brilliant. *claps* *whistles* *cheers*

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  14. Coming to this a bit late -- it's a public service.

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