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Writing - I know I am being unreasonable, but WAH.

(7 Posts)
Adifferentrationality Thu 18-Aug-16 11:34:50

Regular, but Nced.

DH and I are supposed to be doing a paper together. It's a very theoretical, very tricky piece and it's eating me alive. I'm spending most of my time trying to get my head around some very hard philosophy, DH has so far done absolutely nothing on it.

I have been fine about this, since he has an awful lot of admin on his plate this summer (v responsible, senior academic position) and I don't. While I could use a bit of another eye over this right now, I had excused him on the grounds that he's way too busy right now and will be making a contribution later on.

However, I've just found out that he's secretly been spending his time writing with other people! While I've been sitting here struggling and he's been telling me he can't possibly look at it now, he's been off with his RA writing about something easier!

I feel really betrayed! Let me get one thing straight: I KNOW THIS IS RIDICULOUS. I can't really put it into words. It's not like being 'cheated on', of course it isn't, and yet it feels a tiny bit like a dim echo of it.

I know this is SO unreasonable. I am not even totally serious, yet part of me is genuinely hurt.

One thing is for sure: once this is done, I'm not writing with him again!

Knock some sense into me with your mortarboards, fellow academics.

lekkerkroketje Thu 18-Aug-16 18:36:13

He is a co-author you don't actively want to kill. I think that counts as an achievement in itself

TheWindInThePillows Thu 18-Aug-16 18:59:58

Is he the first author or you? If you, then I wouldn't feel so bad about it, you are getting the credit and doing most of the work. If he's the first author he needs to step up and write. I never feel so bad working the most on papers I first author.

MedSchoolRat Thu 18-Aug-16 20:31:57

I shall try to make this a gentle kicking...

Why do you need his contribution at all, why don't you just get it done yourself?

Or get done what you can, and then pile it all on a plate in his corner & go write other things in the meantime; find your own colleagues to prioritise.

I don't know what the situation is with the RA, but presumably they have a contract to fill deliverables on, else He will have shit chances of getting future funding, & maybe someone is breathing down his neck to pull in £50-£200k a yr in research funding. That is his main day job that gives you both a chance to write some theoretical papers, too.

I usually get the easy tasks done first, too.

Booboostwo Thu 18-Aug-16 21:11:30

I think your DH is very rude. Presumably at some point you decided to write this paper together and you both committed to a time table. If he couldn't contribute at the moment he should have let you know, it's what you do when you have a deadline with an editor, you come clean and you renegotiate the deadline.

Can you drop him and write it on your own? Do you have any colleagues who might give you feedback at the wip stage? I've seen people set up discussion boards for papers on so that might be an idea.

adifferentrationality Fri 19-Aug-16 08:58:08

Thanks for the empathy and the more than reasonable words of advice. I do feel a lot better having read them!

I absolutely can write this on my own. However, we agreed that I'd handle the heavy lifting on this paper and he'd be a coauthor precisely because he has so much other stuff on: I think what hurts is that we agreed we would do this piece, and he's been off writing other things. I think a lot of the issues are about my self-confidence. This is by far and away the most ambitious thing I have ever written and I have the heebeejeebies about that at times. I need to take a deep breath and just go for it, but I have that brake in my head that says 'Are you REALLY good enough to write this or are you some pathetic case with delusions of grandeur?' I'm trying to move up a gear intellectually, if that makes sense, and it freaks me out a little.

However, that said, you are dead right about the pressures of research funding medschool - the other paper DH is producing is for a £1m research grant he has that's coming to a close and there are pressures on the deliverables. I've actually been so self-absorbed about this piece of writing that I've forgotten that. Your words are a salutary and much-needed reminder.

I am most DEFINITELY taking first author on this. grin

Booboostwo Sat 20-Aug-16 11:17:48

You ARE good enough to write this. Go ahead and do it on your own and then run it past your DH for comments and help rather than as a co-author. Or give it as a WIP at a departmental seminar, or friendly workshop so you can get feedback and improve it before submission.

I know the feeling though! I have to fight against feelings of inadequacy all the time. I think it's a common academic affliction...that or incredible intellectual arrogance at the other end of the scale!

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