Today, at the coffee shop, while making some changes to one of the Journal Articles That I Still Haven't Submitted, a strange thing happened. Something clicked, and I realized that this journal article is not going to get any better at this point (without peer review, anyway).
It's time to send it in!
Just one more pass, in which I make sure that the terminology is consistent and the flow is acceptable, add one more diagram, and merge two sections into one, and then the paper is DONE.
I just have to do the easier stuff: identify a journal (I have a couple in mind, so I just need to make the final decision), make sure the formatting is acceptable for said journal, draft an email to the editor, and send it off.
Oh, and decide on the authorship thing. I never quite know what to do with journal authorship. Conference papers are easier: smaller set of results = easier to identify the key contributors. But what do you do with a journal article that combines two conference papers, plus includes a whole bunch of new work (done solo) and was pretty much written as a solo effort?
If I had a solid chunk of, say, 6 hours, I could get this sucker done once and for all. Sadly, I do not have that luxury, unless I want to forgo sleep (and we all know what happened the last time I tried that little experiment...). So I will finish this paper much the same way I worked on it all along: in daily, mostly half-hour chunks. And barring some unforeseen weirdness, this article should be in print before I go up for tenure.
Hopefully this will serve as incentive to just finish that other Journal Article That Still Hasn't Been Submitted, Damnit, and get that in the pipeline too.