Thursday, February 7, 2008

Oy, reviews are hard

I've been working on a bleepin' review for the last month (not counting the time spent reading the work being reviewed). It's finally done and none too soon, because I now have just a smidge over a month to get a decent draft of an article to the editors of the essay collection to which it belongs. Thank god they only want a draft at this point because that's all I've got time for now. I meant to be done with this freakin' review before Christmas, but didn't finish reading until after the new year. Oy.

And then the writing of it was bloody torture. I won't go into details here, but suffice it to say that there were two camps of people I didn't want to piss off unnecessarily, even as I wanted to write a fair and thoughtful review. Scylla and Charybdis come to mind.

I know reviews are an important service to the profession, but remind me to take them on only when I'm not overloaded with projects of my own. Remind me to take them on in those times when I'm between majors stages of projects and just need to keep active. Those times exist, right?

2 comments:

Steve Muhlberger said...

If you already feel burdened by reviews it will only get worse as you progress. They are indeed difficult to write, and you've got to limit how many you do.

tenthmedieval said...

The reviews editor for Early Medieval Europe once told me that this is why almost all their reviews are by post-docs or grand men and women of the field, with little in between; the younger generation have the time and like free books, the older ones like to keep their hands in, everyone in the middle is always too snowed under...

Which raises the question: which group would you rather reviewed your work? I'm not quite sure...