Writing versus Publishing

This year I submitted multiple essays, whose proposals had been accepted, but the works were not published. That is very frustrating.

bk-w-paperRight now I am working on fixing a creative nonfiction piece for a post-Civil Rights book. I was in the right place at the right time, though I didn’t know it, and now if I can just get it down well, I will have a publication. I am also hoping the writing will help defuse the trauma of the experience.

I am also working on a book for which I have a contract. The book is due October 1, but I figure I need to have it finished by the end of summer. That is keeping me somewhat busy, as you can imagine. Obviously I can’t publish anything here from it, but if I have too much on something, I might add it here after I send the book in (so they know it wasn’t part of the book without any doubt).

I have one piece still out that is very important to me, but a lot of the sources are very old, as I started work on it twenty years ago. (Scary thought.) But I think the information is important still. We’ll see if it’s anything they want. I’m thinking not.

I also have a chapter out for a book. I haven’t heard anything back from them at all. I loved working on the chapter, but I wish I knew something. Of course, if it is something bad, maybe I don’t wish that.

My situation is not uncommon. One professor I work with at SLAC has a book contract this summer as well. He also has twelve finished books he has not been able to find a publisher for. That’s a lot of work for nothing in terms of publication or help for job security.

Uh oh. This may be why I’m not the winning finalist.

You have ten presentations and NO academic publications? WTF? If I were on a SC this would be a huge red flag.

Would it count as much if the presentations were all in the same year?

You know, I don’t even know what academic publications are. I guess I should call my friends at colleges around the country and ask.

That stinks.

By the way, yes, I think it is part of the issue. I know CC4 was concerned about the lack of publications. I didn’t think to tell them about the book contract.

It’s probably too late now. But I will remember next time. And hopefully next year I will have more publications to put on my CV. Of course, that’s what I really need to look into now.

What to Write?

I’ve been reading the forums at The Chronicle of Higher Ed. The other night I found one set so funny I laughed till I cried. Last night the same forums made me depressed. I’m reading a different set of forums now.
One thread was on what kind of writing counts for tenure.

The original question was about book reviews. Basically everyone said do them if it doesn’t take much time. Book reviews are seen as a service to the profession. I’d never thought of that.

But the last post to date said, “My pet peeve is encyclopedia entries.”

And I was appalled.

I just wrote an encyclopedia entry. I did research for it, emailing friends on three continents involved with the area and asking for feedback. I came up with questions for a questionnaire and then used the answers to create the encyclopedia entry.

I don’t know what anyone else does for entries, but I guarantee I spent more time on this than I would have on a book review. (Of course, I do read and write quickly.)

But now I know that encyclopedia articles have a low level of importance. Oh well. I’ve done one. If I see an encyclopedia on a topic I am passionate about, I’ll probably write one again.