Academic writing is long-term
The peer review process is notoriously slow.
For journal articles, the process can take a couple months to a year. Publication can be scheduled far in advance of print.
Katelyn Knox said, “It will take a minimum of 1.5 years from the time you submit your complete manuscript to an academic publisher and the time your academic book is published.” And that doesn’t the research, writing, editing, or time shopping the manuscript.
So, when is the right time to start talking about your new writing project?
The best time to start is when you decide to write it.
Whatever process you follow, engaging your potential audience right now creates lasting interest.
Even friends and family, people outside your specialty can connect with your project.
Hi, I’m Jennifer, The Academic Designer.
Welcome to The Social Academic, my blog about online identity in the HigherEd world.
You are your own academic writing advocate
No one is going to promote your work right now.
And when it’s published, there may or may not be a marketing budget or team in place to ensure readers find it.
For a project that takes a year or longer (from conception to publication), it’s important you advocate for your own work.
“Our time on Instagram has left us thinking that there is much public interest in the daily workings of science, and that many researchers could find a following for their work, from audiences with specialist-level interest to those with no familiarity with science.” – Hunter Hines and Sally Warring
That can start now, because this type of content is for everyone.
Let’s talk about process writing
The type of content academics and researchers can write – at any time – no matter your work, is all about process.
Process is the HOW and WHY of our motivation.
People tend to be interested by the HOW, and engaged by the WHY. That means that you can start finding an audience for your writing now.
By the time your project is finished, no matter when that is, there will be people in the world who know and care about it.
Here are three types of process posts you can use for social media.
What motivated you to take this writing project on?
Share the inspiration behind your work, why it matters to you.
Twitter and academic writing go hand-in-hand.
Tweet out your writing goals. Check out hashtags like #AcWriChat and #AcWri.
Or, try out new techniques like pomodoros!
Hope (or Anxiety)
Talking about hopes and anxieties for writing projects is a great way to connect with others.
For instance, if you complete a difficult literature review, sharing your experience can help others. And it can introduce your audience to new scholars.
Sharing hopes for your writing is the most well-received type of process post.
Tell people when you send it out. Tell them you’re nervous. Tell them when it gets a Revise & Resubmit.
Then shout it to the world when it gets accepted.
Be social to share
Note that all the content that can be created from the process posts above are before your journal or book manuscript is even published.
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Process writing is the best way to engage your social media audience.
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Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and public relations consultant. She founded The Academic Designer, LLC to help academics, researchers, and writers control their online presence and share their work with the world.
She holds a B.A. from Monmouth University in English, and an M.F.A. from Naropa University in Writing & Poetics where she was the Jack Kerouac Fellow. Jennifer also holds an M.A. from University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Literature and Cultural Studies where she was one of four master’s fellows and a finalist for the Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award.