The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Oh look, I found a new pit of despair

So you know that I handed my draft manuscript in to my advisor last week.  He sent back a document covered in red ink. Then my labmates pointed out all the dumb things I did, and showed me all the cool things I COULD have done but didn’t.

My advisor, a real funny guy, said, “You should make a new graph about the revision process,” and I was all, “Ha ha ha that’s so funny.”

And then I started working on the revisions.

It’s not funny.

Since the start of the long weekend I have been fully immersed in a new and and apparently much larger despair-pit, as I fumble around with R (a programming language that I’m still learning) and unfamiliar statistical methods. I think, if I can get my mathematically-challenged brain past this stats hurdle, I’ll get to the point where I feel ready to REVISE ALL THE THINGS with greater gusto.

The sad thing is, I suspect that I’m going to have to adjust the low-end of my y-axis to accommodate the deepest depths of despair that almost invariably follow after one actually submits the manuscript to the JOURNAL, whose editors then tell you that you have to, once again, REVISE ALL THE THINGS.


19 responses to “Oh look, I found a new pit of despair

  1. Adrian D. Thysse April 9, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Cheer up li’l BugGeek, we haves faith in you.

  2. Morgan Jackson April 9, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    I’m already looking forward to next Monday’s graph! At the rate you’re moving on that manuscript it’ll be the post-acceptance celebratory beer drinking graph!

    • TGIQ April 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      I hope I’ll be finished with this thing before Monday!!!! (People will get sick of me if I keep whinging about the same manuscript for weeks on end :P)

  3. G April 9, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    This is great! I am experiencing the discussion “I will never be a scientist” phase. It is nice to know that other scientists (or biology grad students) feel this despair as well 😉 Thanks for making me smile. Good luck with R!

    • TGIQ April 10, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      My own supervisor left a comment on my original post about this process (and that awful discussion pit), and said that pretty much everybody (even professors!) go through this stuff. I’m glad this made you smile at least!

  4. Jon Q April 10, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Love the humor you throw into your posts!! I always find myself enjoying your posts the whole way through. Agreed, editors will not hesitate to go out of their way to criticize. If your blog posts are anything like your project,,,, they won’t take you seriously. :/ BUT, if you put as much care into your project as you do your blog (from what I can see) I bet it’ll turn out quite nicely 🙂

    • TGIQ April 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      As much as I’m moaning about the revisions, the honest truth is that I got some really excellent and insightful feedback from my advisor and colleagues and I know that the final product is going to be much stronger and more cohesive in the end (and therefore more likely to get accepted!). The revisions are painful, but definitely worth it!

  5. stevenhamblin April 10, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Oi, I hate that feeling, too. If it helps, we all get that; that feeling of despair is why I started Rejection Watch. Even if it has petered out, the response I got was more than indicative of the generality of that pit you’re in.

    And hey, if R is giving you trouble, don’t forget that more than a few of your followers on Twitter are reasonably competent with the devil stats package; I’d even include myself in that club, and if I can dare to speak for the lot of us, we’d be happy to help. 🙂

    Good luck with the revisions! (Seriously, though, is the figure at the end of the graph holding a torch? Because that strikes me as being .. unsafe?)

  6. itsybitsybeetle April 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    oh how i absolutely love this – plus addition of hyperbole and half wonderfulness! you can do it, you can do it! i’m currently in the “waiting for collaborator revision”, which is basically speaking into the microphone of an empty room….is this thing still on? 😉
    also…..R. I can sum that up in one word…ugggggggggggggh.

    • TGIQ April 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      LOL! My partner comes home and says “what were you doing all day?”, and I say, “Aaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”. Also, why do I not have your blog linked to mine yet? Fixed! 😀

  7. Pingback: Rejection Watch Vol. 1, Supplementary Online Material « A Bit of Behavioral Ecology

  8. Katie (Nature ID) May 7, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    I feel for you. It’s frustrating as hell! I was unable to publish 2 papers, because the stats were just too difficult for me. Back then, we had different stats programs. I even contacted the president of the local statistical club (yes, I was amazed to find out there are such organizations) to ask if I could actually pay someone good money to help me get the stats done. No one in the club was interested. Big bummer.

    • TGIQ May 29, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      Ha! I remember when I was an MSc. student, I was all “I’ll just pay someone to do my stats for me”. So much for that idea! 😀

  9. Katie (Nature ID) May 7, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    testing new comment format…

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