5 Tips For Getting Over the Fear of Sharing Your Writing With Others

Sharing writing with others is scary. Admit it. It is. We worry that we will be judged. We will! And, of course, this is the idea. If you want to just write in a diary and never share it with anyone else, then stop reading this article now. If, however, you are a writer who is writing for publication, then it is time to implement one or more of these tips so you can get the feedback you need and get your writing out for others to learn from, enjoy, or any of the other possible responses you may be looking for.
  1. Be part of a writers group. There is no special size for one of these groups, but either find a writers group in your community or start one. If you search the internet, you can find lots of tips about writing groups and how they should be organized if you want more information on that.
  2. Set parameters on what you are looking for when you give your work to someone for feedback. Tell the person you want him/her to read for flow, opening, characterization, next steps, or whatever else you might find useful. Pick ONE area for the other person to focus on. It helps the reader, it helps you, and it serves your writing.
  3. Ask for 3:1 ratio (or 35:1) "good" vs. "needs work." If part of what you fear is someone telling you what you've written is terrible, ask them to give you three aspects that are well done for every aspect that is not so well done (i.e., needs work or is terrible). Lay out the ratio you want.
  4. Ask someone who is in awe of you. If you are fearful about what someone will say about your writing, ask someone who thinks you are a god or goddess. They will give you lots of positive feedback because they are in awe of you. This is a step toward the next tip.
  5. Ask someone you are in awe of. If the person says, "Yes," and gives you feedback, you will benefit both from the feedback and from knowing you were brave enough to ask (as well as from the person's acknowledgment of you, i.e., a willingness to take the time to read and respond to your writing).
So, if you have been reluctant to receive input on your writing, choose at least one of these ideas to put into practice this week. And then choose another and then another in the upcoming weeks. See what a difference it makes.

And for hundreds of sets of Productivity Tips like these, you're invited to join others around the globe who subscribe (free) to one of the Top Ten Productivity Tips series (info to be found at):** http://TopTenProductivityTips.com (c) 2010 Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D. | The Ph.D. of Productivity(tm) | http://www.meggin.com Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D. works with smart people who want to consistently keep their emphasis on excellence.

Academic Writing - Speeding Up the Process to Have Journal Articles Accepted

The first day of my first doctoral class, my major advisor called me into her office afterwards and said, "You need to start getting articles submitted."  I thought, 'I am not graduating for 4 years (which turned into 6, by the way), so why would I need to start thinking about getting published so early in my program?'  Little did I know that the article writing portion is the fastest part.  The submission, acceptance, and publication portion is the slowest (by far)! 
If you are up against the tenure deadline, you may have a question similar to this one:
I know that this is field and journal specific, but I would really appreciate your advice about ways to "speed-up" the acceptance/rejection process (e.g., finding out track record of journal, etc.). I know that much of it is simply out of the author's hands/locus of control, but if there are strategies for doing anything that is within the author's domain of control, I would really appreciate learning about it from you.
There are no magical means to reduce the process of submission, acceptance, and publication down to a few weeks (or even a few months), but there are ways to streamline it as much as possible in the world of academic publishing. 
  1. Make sure you have EVERYTHING exactly as the journal editor has asked for it.  Attend to all of the specifics that are requested. Each journal editorial team is so particular in how it manages the process that you quickly learn there is not a template to follow. 
  2. Sometimes, you think a journal has had your materials long enough (given what they said about the review time), it is acceptable to call or email to check on the status.  Sometimes, this helps the editor get it moving or to start contacting the reviewers to get their reviews turned in.  In my years of writing as a faculty member, I made sure not to pester them, but I did 'inquire.'  Many times, it helped get the process restarted when it had been stalled.
  3. When something is accepted with revisions, get busy and get it resubmitted as quickly as possible  so that the editor or staff member has not forgotten about your article.  Getting your revised article returned to the journal in a timely manner (let alone a SPEEDY manner) is appreciated by the editorial team.  It is so rare that you will stand out in one or more members of the team's mind and that can also serve you later on in your professional career.
  4. If an article is outright rejected, always have another journal that you have mentally targeted.  Take the reviewer comments, revise according, and then get that article back out the door very quickly.  An article that is 'resting' in your computer is not helping you at all. 
You can't hurry the process but you can prevent unnecessarily delays by following the advice (learned through experience which was sometimes easy and sometimes...not) I've shared in this article. 

RECOMMENDED READING: How to Write a LIterature Review for Your Thesis

And as a college or university faculty member, you have many opportunities for success and failure. If you would like additional tips, tools, and techniques that you can use to increase your successes, then access one or both of the following free resource websites:
**Top Ten Productivity Tips (http://www.TopTenProductivityTips.com)
**Articles for Professors (http://www.ArticlesforProfessors.com)
(c) 2009 by Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D., "The Ph.D. of Productivity"(tm). Through her company, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., Meggin McIntosh supports really bright people who want to be productive, thereby enabling them to keep their emphasis on excellence. Sound interesting? It is!

Writing, Books and Authors in the News