Ms. Kay Cassell, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information, offered invaluable advice on how to find a topic; develop it into a publishable paper; and get it published. Certainly a fine presentation well geared towards students in the social sciences who are over the hump of finals and eager to spend some (leisurely) summer days writing for recognition in the scholarly research journals.
Says Kay, "If you can speak, you can write." In fact, publishing doesn't require a different topic, just a different angle. Originality and innovation are highly sought after. And these days, in the tough climate of scholarly research, collaboration is even better, particularly for new writers who gain credibility when partnering with another writer already established.
In all cases, it's important to research the current literature, write for your intended audience, and be sure to include a bibliography of references to show you know what you're talking (writing) about. Somehow a journal citation from 1959 feels too antiquated, no matter how well written or ingenious the piece.
But do the same lessons apply for online publishing? Why expend emotional labor to invent, connect, create, and make a difference? And how do we make our map? Maybe, if we can think, we can write.
Publishing today is more accessible than ever; freer, faster, easier. Though not necessarily inferior, less researched, or too popular. An advocate for the artist within ourselves, Seth Godin is the author of numerous international bestsellers, one of the most influential business bloggers, and up there among the top quarter of the most widely read bloggers in the English language. Reading Linchpin, we can see why: his book is full of the wisdom/ sound bites we'd expect in a blog, yet informed by a nicely annotated "reading list" of 38 books and 18 blogs.
Are we moving in leaps across the equinox, or in leaps and bounds over the summer solstice ? Jumping from an elevated point at Teachers College, springing into less chartered territory, then rebounding back from the blogosphere?
A long way from the Olivetti, a short route to Tumblr, publishing is now an open online diary, an epistle, commentary, or catchy news piece. It may be prompted by comprehensive research or latest observations. Feed the artist and share the gift... Publish or perish, nay: publish and flourish!
Kay Cassell was a speaker at our Author's Workshop: Looking to Publish? Tips for the Aspiring Writer.