Glamorous Outputs, Messy Process and Present Reflections: My Latest Journal Article

Thursday 23rd March 2019, the start of the email from the Taylor and Francis Group:

Dear Verity Postlethwaite,

Congratulations, we’re delighted to let you know that your final published article (the Version of Record) is now on Taylor & Francis Online.

Immediate thoughts and feelings:

  1. I want to edit and proof again, I am terrified people will actually read this… why do I use commas so much, did I spell everything in the right version of English and what an earth is my tense…
  2. Okay, this is great, another milestone for my CV and present / future employers…
  3. Wow, I need to say thank you to so many people… I should tweet and email them.
  4. How do I reflect on this? I should blog.
  5. How do I promote this? I should tweet about my blog which is about my article!

Yes, I am person with a brain that goes into overload. A normal occurrence within society and, especially, academic brains. As a doctoral researcher a peer-reviewed publication is something I am very proud of. In this blog I will reflect on what the article is about, and why to access and read it. Plus, a couple of short reflections on the process of writing an article (from my novice perspective).

Inspiring a generation: an examination of stakeholder relations in the context of London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics educational programmes

Twitter article

The article is a product of my doctoral thesis, attending and engaging with the UK Sport Development Network conferences, and activities with the Sport and Recreation Alliance. You can read the abstract publicly, so I will not repeat it here. In my own retrospective words this piece represents a development in thinking around:

  • how to link sport mega event organising committee literature, in particular, around legacy; with sport policy literature, in particular, around young people and education;
  • it attempts to squeeze in a number of contextual, theoretical and discussion points around the clarity, purpose and understanding of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ educational programmes, notably, the Get Set initiative;
  • using publicly accessible documents from a parliamentary Education Committee and a critical discourse analysis framework (alongside my wonderful supervisors Geoff and Gyozo) we explored the extensive dialogue from multiple stakeholders (such as, politicians, teachers, athletes and sport organisations);
  • the discussion and conclusion represent a need to further look at event and legacy governance in both: (1) everyday political domestic circumstances and then, (2) the extraordinary circumstances of hosting a sporting event (and in this case study London 2012 and a sport mega event).

I am, hopefully, going to channel the feedback and ongoing discussion about the article into my thesis. A benefit of taking time to write this piece was to receive extensive and productive peer feedback from reviewers (thanks again to the journal Managing Sport and Leisure, the anonymous reviewers and the Special Issue editors Aaron and Vassilios). Specifically writing this article allowed me to think about the big ideas in my thesis (approx. 80,000 words), into a smaller (and more glamorous) output of a journal article (approx. 8,000 words). However, this reflection comes with a cautionary note, that this article has taken probably about 12 + months to write, submit, correct and approve. In terms of hours at least 140 hours of work (35 hours per initial research, write up, edit, and submission to approval), about an hour per published word! Apologies if my maths is slightly out.

I am sure in reading this you can now understand that my current writing priority is the doctoral thesis. More articles will come, but for now I need to split my time between research for the fellowship in Japan and writing the thesis. When reading about this time management strategy I sense a lot of eyebrows will be raised, yes, it is ambitious. However, my most valuable lesson from the past 12- 18 months and in reflecting on writing this article, is to live in the present. Stop planning, being seduced by the glamorous outputs, saying yes to future things, and trying to do too much too soon. Focus on the present and chipping away at your day to day.


Like a very intelligent red jumper wearing philosopher once answered:

“‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’

‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh, ‘what do you say, Piglet?’

‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.”                                                                                              —Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne


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