When I got the usual circular from Guardian Higher Education, I was intrigued to see articles on why women leave academia. Well, I thought, all the memories, indignation and despair, flooding back, I can offer you a few ideas on why this particular woman left. So, comms hat on, I wrote back to the editor, pitching a few article ideas; one of which hit home. She (for hurray, it was indeed a she) wrote back to say that she was interested in the idea of being an academic, but not in academia. So, vanity kicked in and I wrote a blog piece which was to go in the new reinvigorated HE Lives slot, on the following Friday.
I realised that because of the deep crevasse of silence my book had fallen into, I needed to publish something to keep me going, hence the reviews and now this Guardian blog piece. Is this self-justification for being a writer? It’s not as though I have an awful job and need to escape the office and be someone else – far from it, my job is very satisfying and I love it. However, this writerly itch requires frequent scratching, for want of a better analogy. Turns out, I merely let myself in for another editorial impasse – come the appointed day, I trawled the site in vain, waiting to FB, tweet and generally tell anyone who listened about my piece. After contacting the editor, I was told very nicely that they wanted me to address a few more issues in the piece. So yet again – I am waiting for my work to be published. Did Dante have a circle of Hell for writers and unpublished work?