This morning's listen was Seth Godin's Linchpin - a book I read and loved early on in my career and decided to revisit recently thanks to my public library. The statement, "Art is emotional labor," hit different this morning. I'm working on the qualitative paper from my dissertation study in hopes of submitting it to a call for papers from Pedagogy in Health Promotion about antiracism in teaching. It's a long one, currently clocking in at 30 pages and more than 9000 words. The longest manuscript I could submit is 7000 words for this particular journal, so basically a whole other manuscript's worth of words. This got me to thinking last night about what if I pull out all of the reflexivity writing and make that a separate paper. And the idea of that felt both efficient and a little sad. Re-reading the manuscript reminded me of how precarious a power situation I was in as a student interrogating the institution I was also asking for a degree and to pull the analysis apart from the reflection made me feel like both would be a little less for it.
And it's because of this concept - the art in that paper is inextricable from my grappling with my position within the research. It's why I went back to school to be the investigator rather than just another member of a research team. I don't come across very many papers that do both in a single go - grapple with the other social actors in the social phenomenon under study while simultaneously also dealing with themselves as both researcher and social actor. The emotional labor makes it both scary and impactful.
There's some hope; a large section of my intro is in another manuscript currently under revision, so I plan to take that out and see where that leaves me. But if I'm still very far off from the word limit, I'll look for another journal that might work.
Thanks, blog, for helping me work that out.