Archive for November 2nd, 2011

The Metaphysical Angst of Publishing

2 November 2011

By Christina Morin

The recent publication of my book has been an extremely exhilarating but also unexpectedly heart-wrenching experience. Back when I finished my PhD, I remember joking with people about how I was suffering from post-PhD blues, but I never expected such a thing to happen upon completion of my monograph. It’s not exactly that I didn’t have anything to occupy me after finishing the manuscript. Precisely the opposite actually… I was already working on a new project and was so focused on the demands of my new research that I had little enough time to mourn the passing of the old. Whereas the submission of my PhD was followed by a bewildering aimlessness caused by the sudden loss of that which had occupied the majority of my time for the previous four and half years, therefore, the monograph left my hands with a sigh of relief and the recognition that now I could turn my attention to looming deadlines and articles promised long ago. And, where I worried about my thesis being ripped to shreds by heartless examiners upon completion of my PhD, I didn’t give much thought to the emotional angst that might accompany the publication of my monograph.

In this state of blithe emotional stupidity, I was struck with the vehemence with which post-publication anxiety took hold of me. Whereas pre-publication I was able to comfort myself with the thought of peer-review processes and other such evaluation techniques by which my manuscript had been found a valid and even valuable addition to current literary criticism, all such ability left me in the immediate aftermath of publication itself. Read more