No “perishing” today: On becoming an academic author

Bzzzzz. With a push of a button, I summon the butcher.

Smiling broadly above his white apron, he asks, “How can I help you?”

“Silly question. Let’s say someone was going to make steak burritos…” He continues to smile, and just slightly laugh at my explanatory gestures. “What type of meat would they use?”

“Well, it depends on how much money you want to spend,” he says, and we laugh.

Mr. Butcher gladly tells me about the buy-one, get-one-free sale on NY strip steak–coincidentally the same freezer-burned cut that drove me to the store in the first place. He offers to custom cut me a couple and I say, “Why not. I’m celebrating!”

“What’s the occasion?” he inquires. When I reply that I just got my very first academic paper accepted for publication, he beams, raising his hand for a fist bump. When he comes back with my steaks–and after we both agree they’re too pretty to be burrito fodder–he makes me promise to tell him when the online edition will be available for reading.


Moments after I see the “Congratulations” email from my editor, I dialed Mr. T and in octaves only Goliath can hear apparently, recounted the news. (I know only Goliath could hear because T made me repeat myself in human tones at least twice, ahem.)

After 13 months and two big revisions, I will be a published academic author.

Cue the hallelujah chorus. Let confetti rain down from the heavens. I did it! With the generous help of my advisor and several eagle-eyed friends, I’ve achieved one notch on the “publish” side of the “publish or perish” continuum. Yay me.

Of course the next step is to do it again. And again. And again. But for now, I am basking in solo-author glory.


P.S. It is a heady realization that I will be able to cite myself in my dissertation. Ah!

Related Links:
– Life lessons: You can’t win the lotto if you don’t play
– Nerdgasms and other insights from inside the “publish or perish” process

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