There are several elements to a journal article. They don’t have to come together in an exact order:
- An idea – obviously you can’t get a journal idea published if you don’t have a spark of an idea.
- What journal – journals sometimes have their own niches or styles. One approach might be to decide the journal early so you know what your style is.
- Where’s the discussion – you’ll want to know the lay of the scholarly land. Find the most recent thing written in relation to your idea so that you can get a sense of what the most recent part of the conversation is.
- Outline what you’re going to write
- Start writing – often I find I don’t find my voice until I’ve slogged through an entire first draft.
- Revise outline, rewrite as necessary
- Revise and resubmit as necessary – you often get feedback with a rejection. That can help you before resubmitting to another journal. Of course sometimes you face scholarly whim… no advice for a bad reviewer except to try and try again.