Part I: Research & Preparation
Focus Your Ideas
Before you can match your idea with its potential journals, you need to develop it enough to determine its best chances for success.
If you are redeveloping a piece from a dissertation, book-length work, conference program or other existing work, this step may be as simple as creating a draft outline for the article.
If, on the other hand, you are working on something new (or if you’re feeling stuck with your ‘rehab’ project), these tips may help you achieve enough clarity to define the pool of potential journals and approach them effectively:
- Talk it out.
- Share your ideas with colleagues, mentors, and students. Great minds spark each other. Sometimes working out an idea verbally or via email with a colleague can focus and develop your thoughts.
- Map it.
- Mind maps can be an effective brainstorming tool, particularly for anyone with a visual orientation to information. (find information about mind-maps at Answers.com and Wikipedia.org)
- Idleness has a bad reputation. Downtime, exercise and sleep are critical components of the creative cycle’s incubation stage. Be sure you get your minimum daily requirement of each.
- Write it.
- Force yourself to put words down on that blank screen in front of you, even if you start with, "I am forcing myself to write about my topic and I have nothing to say." Getting over the barrier of starting can release the floodwaters.