Share Your Academic Writing on Social Media with Process Writing

Academic writing is long-term – it’s a slow process from idea to publication

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 van Alstyne, The Academic Designer. Welcome to The Social Academic, my blog about online identity in the HigherEd world.

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You are your own academic writing advocate

Coffee mug that says "Go get 'em"

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,” say Hunter Hines and Sally Warring.

That can start now, because this type of content is for everyone.

Let’s talk about process writing

Writing in a blank notebook

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:

  • Motivate
  • Plan
  • Hope (or Anxiety)

Process Writing Post #1 | Motivate

What motivated you to take this writing project on?

Share the inspiration behind your work, why it matters to you.

Process Writing Post #2 | Plan

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!

Process Writing Post #3 | 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.

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Be social to share the process behind your work

All the content that can be created from the process posts above can happen before your journal or book manuscript is even published. Sharing the process behind your work is the best way to get started, whatever social media platform you’re on.

Need 1:1 guidance for sharing your latest book or article? I’d love to consult with you.

Virtual. Self-paced. Choose your own adventure.

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Jennifer van Alstyne View All →

Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and communications consultant. She founded The Academic Designer, LLC to help professors, researchers, and graduate students manage their online presence. Jennifer’s goal is to help people share their work with the world.

Check out her personal site at https://jennifervanalstyne
or learn more about the services she offers at