The Hazards of Interdisciplinary Writing, Part Three

I pitched a book review to the editor of a prominent magazine devoted to critical thinking and pseudoscience: “Well, I don’t see how it will fit with our magazine, but go ahead and submit it.”

I submit it.

“Looks good! We have it slated for the [date] issue, and we’ll send you the proof soon!”

[UPDATE: My review now appears in the March/April 2015 issue of Skeptical Inquirer.]

Yeah – unfortunately, wherever science walks, pseudoscience lurks, ready to pounce.

I pitched a different review of the same book to the reviews editor of a prominent scholarly journal devoted to archival science. (The same one, incidentally, that refereed my paper.)

“I really don’t see how this fits with our focus, but go ahead and submit it.”

Heh. You shall see!

With a writer as talented, articulate, and far-seeing as Christine Kenneally, you bet your boots one can write multiple reviews of The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures from different areas of focus, her book is that innovative and multi-faceted.

Everyone on the planet should read her book! (That also goes for her first book, The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language.) This is important work; this is exactly the kind of interdisciplinary research writing that I aim to do. I have a new hero!


2 thoughts on “The Hazards of Interdisciplinary Writing, Part Three

  1. tau

    First off I would like to say fantastic blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to
    ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear
    your head before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my
    thoughts in getting my thoughts out there. I do take pleasure in writing
    however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Thanks!


    1. kristine Post author

      Thanks. Due to my “real” writing for publication (when my fiction is published I’ll announce it!) I have not been blogging lately!
      Your question is a good one, as I was in a lousy mood after work and had to buckle down to writing. My general rule is, if something is in your way, take care of that something if you can do anything about it: if you’re mad at someone, go talk to that person; if you’re stressing about something, go take care of it right then and there, etc.
      But, as I am doing now, if you are frustrated with something that you cannot change, it helps to have a physical activity to get out your aggressions. For example, we have an acre of land that has been invaded by garlic mustard and buckthorn, so removing them is strenuous and contact with nature clears your mind.
      As with any writing, don’t “wait” until you know how to begin – just begin. Write it down right away, and write it “wrong.” You can correct it later – but just start writing. Get in the habit of doing this, and something will come.
      Good luck!



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