If at first you don’t succeed, plan better next time.

Considering that this is not my first time writing for a journal publication, (the last time ended abysmally), I thought that making a plan might be a better start this time. I really blame the lack of focus to a specific journal on my inability to plan. At the time, it took me nearly a year to write the darn thing and I sent it to a wide variety of journals. This time, I’m focusing my efforts on the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
September 2021 Issue.

This time I’m going back to the drawing board. As in, I plan on using BaseCamp to track my deadlines and give myself steps towards completing my work. Especially considering that they just came out with a free personalized version. More information on BaseCamp Personal.

Last Week

In writing, the process is really broken up into 3 parts: brainstorming, content generation, and editing. Planning in this case is a part of the brainstorming. I cannot reasonably set a goal, if I have no idea what I want to write about. This last week I’ve been brainstorming different topics on accessibility. I attended WordPress Camp in Seattle and attended a panel on website accessibility.

Considering I work with loads of websites, microsites, and blogs on a daily basis, it only makes sense if I try a case study involving my work. I could research out a best-practices approach to improving accessibility on client websites or look at accessibility on a select group of law firm websites. I even considered just making a test and putting our blogs feet-to-the-fire as so to speak, but I’ll have to really focus on something specific. I’m also doing this outside my normal duties. So, I would need to plan my time for that.

In any case, my time last week was starting the dialogue of accessibility in my own head.

This Week

I’m really going to nail down what I hope to accomplish. While the abstract is not due until March, this does mean that I need to have the case study done before that. I would also like enough time to write the abstract.

By my very nature I procrastinate. Well, I don’t procrastinate in the traditional sense. I spend 60-70% of my writing process thinking about the topic. I also spend 30-40% writing and maybe 5-10% editing. This is where I insert a little bit of that positive self-rhetoric with the phrase, “I think I can, I think I can” in hopes that I spend more time writing and less time thinking about what I am going to write.

I’m also juggling a few other projects in the meantime. Cough Cough, an EDR Podcast, Cough Cough. So, I will need to consider my time with those as well.

Next Week

I hope to close in on a topic by next week or the week after. For now, I just need to breathe and understand that this is me just dipping my toe into a new rhetoric community. By the way, thank you to the MedRhet community for all the support. I know it’s not easy to have someone outside academia come in and ask questions. I really hope that I can provide some positive change in return for all your generosity.

With any major project I try to start with a goal. Sure, completion is nice, but what about criticals? Asking the question of “what do I hope to take away from this experience?” is always on my mind. In the case of this journal article writing project, my minimum is improving the accessibility of my current work. If my abstract is rejected in March, then at the very least I can say I did something worthwhile. This is the foundation and the rue essence of the experience. Later on in the chain of self-rhetoric, I can then feel comfort in knowing that an abstract rejection does not equal failure. Try to remember what you told yourself at the beginning of a project. That motivation will drive how you convince yourself to keep going and convince others to help you.

Thank you again for the support. As always, thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts. I hope that you have found something to add to your everyday rhetoric repertoire.