I never realized how difficult it was to write a good review until I tried writing one myself. I can write a bad one in an afternoon, but I'm aiming for producing a Nature Reviews article (even though that's not where I'm submitting this, I always want to produce the best material possible). And apparently that takes time. At least for me.
Not only do good reviews encompass an expansive exploration of the literature, but they must bring something new to the table. Some unique perspective or spin that makes people want to sit up and take time from their day. And if it is particularly interesting, people will hopefully cite it.
I suppose one of my problems is that I find it difficult to keep it focused and on topic. Partially that's because I'm so excited and passionate about my topic that I want to go on and on and on and on about it, but I'm not convinced that readers would appreciate a soliloquy on why my gene is the most important gene in the universe. (because, although I'm a bit biased, I think it is). The other reason is that I think I stumbled upon an awesome story that could be paradigm shifting (but don't we all say that), and I want to share it with the world.
But I digress.
I've written many research articles, but in my opinion, this review is the hardest thing I've ever tried doing. I've narrowed down the scope to make it palatable, yet I continue to see new research that I feel I must incorporate into the story. At some point (it better be soon, methinks) I better just stop reading and pull the plug and submit this..
After all, what good is a review if it's never submitted....