My First Publication!

(Reed’s Playlist for the occasion: Joker and the Thief by Wolfmother)

If I’d put money down a year or two ago, I would have expected that my first published work would have been a paper for my lab. If you’d asked a few months ago, I would have said “The Oasis, which is scheduled to come out in Westwind sometime this month.

Apparently I was wrong on both counts. My first published work is… a library paper.

But seriously, right now I don’t care. It’s a writing credit. And even better, I actually wrote a decent portion of the paper, so I can tell people honestly that I wasn’t coauthor in name only.

The paper is about a library program I was in as an undergraduate which, for the last year, I have worked for as an administrator. I knew it would be coming out soon, but still, seeing it on the Association of College and Research Libraries webpage made me pretty excited.

Here’s a link if you’re interested. Please don’t torture yourself to read it (unless you’re a librarian or fan of information sciences, in which case knock yourself out).

Sometimes, it might seem like you’re making no headway in your writing career – like you’ve been writing for years with absolutely nothing to say for it. If those thoughts ever come up, do me a favor.

Stop thinking them.

If you can’t stop thinking them, read something you wrote a few years ago and wince at how clearly terrible it is; then pick something up you’ve just been writing and compare the two. I promise you, you are making progress. It may not be as quick as you’d like, but nothing in this world worth having will come quickly.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. But it sounded nice.

Still, you have to revel in the little things – like being able to string a sentence together better, or to write a character your readers seem to really care about. You have to accept those little victories as indicators of progress. Eventually, they’ll add up to something big; you just gotta wait it out until then. And, like always, keep writing.

So I’m gonna go celebrate my first publication, with my second hot on its heels and my third (assuming my grad student in lab isn’t completely lying to me) coming out in the next few months.

Until then, keep on doing you. (Who else could do it better?)

Yours, stoked to the Nth degree,

-R.R. Buck

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