I think when the whole academic road is as twisty and bumpy (and downright frustrating) as mine feels like it has been, it is easy to forget the end game. My end game? A decent job at a decent school in a decent place where my kids and husband will be happy.
I just received news that my first journal article will be published without any minor or major revisions...accepted as it is. In a good journal. This was so unexpected and lovely that it has come as a complete surprise. I didn't dare dream of this outcome, preferring to be realistic and figure a 'revise and resubmit' would be awesome. You know what?
Forget realistic. From now on, I dream big. The standard has been set. Paper #2? It needs work. But boy, what a blast of motivation to crack on with it. It too will be submitted somewhere good. It may or may not go through the (perhaps lucky) process of the first...and it will probably need revising and resubmitting. But not in my dreams - in my dreams I will receive another email along the lines of "...we have decided to publish it as is."
Because, at the end of the day, that unconditional acceptance of your work, your effort, your tears...that is the dream.