Matthew Aiello-Lammens Ecologist at Work

Writing

A week ago I sent around a clean draft of a manuscript I’ve been working on for several months (nearly 8, if I’m being honest) to my colleagues here at UConn. Today I am working with a documents that is chopped up, has various different colors of text, indicating sections to cut, sentences to re-write, references to move, etc. Oh the writing process, how tough you are. Writing a manuscript is always a mixed emotional bag for me. I feel competent when words flow smoothly. Accomplished when I’ve re-worked a paragraph to a point that I think it is actually good. Frustrated when I’ve spent hours writing, re-writing, re-re-writing the first sentence of a paragraph. Inept when I come across a reference that I should have read before I even thought of starting the analysis, never mind the writing. But through out the process I try to keep the following things in mind - at the end of the day, submitting a clean manuscript for publication is a good feeling; nothing clarifies thought better than writing; and finally, the more I write, the more used to the process I’ll be. Note that I am explicitly not saying it will be easier, but perhaps that will come as well. One can hope anyway.