Learning to write is an important process. One of the important components of this process is the ebb and flow of manuscripts at various stages. For my own clarity, I need to better track this process. For now, I’ll keep track of this in a google spreadsheet with columns for:
(0) Author–maybe it is individual authorship, or maybe it’s a collaborative endeavor. This is important to specify up front, and decide on author order. Just be clear, make reasoned decisions that are agreeable for all involved. I believe in the power of co-authoring, as a synergy is made possible through interaction and sharing of ideas. I also have a perception that sole authorship is valued in the field of mathematics education. Correct me if I’m wrong.
(1) Title or idea–be succinct, clear, and possibly catchy (see 3–I’m thinking of teacher audiences here).
(2) The story to be told–to paraphrase Dr. Koeno Gravemeijer, who was referencing Dr. Paul Cobb, when writing, it is important to have a clear story to tell, this helps shape the manuscript into a publication. So decide and state your thesis clearly.
(3) To whom–like having clarity in what story is to be written, it is important to understand the intended audience of the writing, this helps shape the tone and focus of writing, word choice, and jargon.
(4) Status–there are several stages of writing. In the realm of “Progress in Press” these may be: (a) in progress, a draft or idea, maybe an outline or just a seed;
(b) in review, in the hands and responsibility of the editorial staff of the chosen venue after no, one, or several rounds of back and forth (*note that this stage could also send a writer ~back~ to step a, or could remain in step b yet with a change in responsibility in who is doing the reviewing — could be me–);
(c) in press, this is next to gold, you have confirmation that the editor has agreed to publish your work, sometime, but it’s not yet ~printed~;
(d) published, the gold star of accomplishments, worth writing home about, or not.
And in reflection, I think a next step would be (e) referenced by others. This would actually be the gold start of accomplishment. The intent is for work to change, to inspire, to have a leadership quality about it. So having others draw and build on one’s own work is better than publishing. It starts to take on more of a living character of being so that your words live on.
(5) Deadline–inspired by Dr. Tabitha Mingus, there is a distinction between an ~assignment~ that is for me to “DO” and that is “DUE.” Some deadlines are self-imposed, others depend on collaborators, journal editors, conferences, … As of late, it’s more often than note just the WILL, MOTIVATION, and ABILITY TO OVERCOME FEAR OF FAILURE. See my post inspired by the Lean In mantra of: What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
(6) Notes–maybe I need to give myself a pep-talk, or set realistic parameters on impending deadlines. I am an avid note-taker, so more often than note, there is a need for a “notes” section.
Here’s to greater progress in press!