If you are an academic, then you are very familiar with this feeling of seeing yourself as a completely worthless, useless, unintelligent screw-up that you get when you haven't published anything for over a year. You slink in an out of the department, trying to make people notice you as little as possible because their questions of "Still no news on those articles?" are painful to hear. You don't speak up during meetings with colleagues because why should they listen to somebody who can't get herself published? You feel like an impostor grading your students' essays because what right has somebody who hasn't been published in so long to evaluate anybody's work? You can't do any research because it seems like everything you write will be rejected anyways. You start asking your partner obsessively if they will leave you if you never publish anything again. You persecute your friends and relatives with endless queries of "You don't think I'm a loser, do you?" In short, this is a very special kind of insanity that everybody in academia experiences on a regular basis.
So today I finally - FINALLY - got an article accepted for publication. It is the most heavily theoretical piece I have ever written (hello, Mr. Pippin!) and one that I never really hoped to get published because of its very strong ideological content. You see, I'm not really interested in doing the kind of literary criticism that counts the numbers of metaphors in a work of literature or that comes up with critical editions of texts. This is an important part of literary criticism, but it isn't something I want to be doing. For me, works of literature that I analyze are a pretext to discuss things I find important politically and ideologically. This statement is often greeted with gasps of terror among my colleagues. I, however, believe that discussing exclusively the formal aspects of literary works would be a huge waste of time.