Thursday, September 08, 2011

We Now Return You to Regular Scheduled Posting

I ran into a long-time reader of this blog yesterday who expressed her disappointment that I'm no longer posting on a schedule. I had gotten her used to reading RSL every other day by posting, regular as a clockwork, at 7 AM, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. These days, since I'm posting whenever I feel like it, she doesn't know when to check in, and the result has been that she doesn't keep up with my posts like she used to. That's worth thinking about.

And doing something about. I've immediately decided to impose a regular blogging pattern again. Every other day, I'll devote an hour to saying something intelligent about academic writing, based on my experience as the resident writing consultant at a major European business school.

Such regularity, after all, is part of my "brand", and my brand is going to become increasingly important to me in the months come. I will be going into business for myself, trying to spread the idea of Writing Process Reengineering to other universities. It is my belief that the competitiveness of universities is increasingly going to depend on their discursive strength, i.e., their ability to have an impact in the journal literature. I think I have a distinct contribution to make in that area.

My experience tells me that there is a great deal of unrealized potential in the heads and desks of researchers. They know much more than they write; the discourse in their fields is dominated by a handful of major reputations rather than being driven by fresh empirical and theoretical insight. If scholars would write more regularly, and submit that writing more regularly to journals, I think the quality of the conversation in many fields would significantly improve.

I also think scholars would be happier. One of the rhetorical challenges I have is to make sure that I'm not taken to be proposing that scholars should work harder. I believe they could work more effectively and that this work could be better supported by university administrators.

In any case, I firmly believe that the current "crisis of the European sciences" (to borrow Husserl's phrase) is rooted, at least in part, in the attitude of scholars and in the leadership of the universities, especially in regard to writing. In both cases, "publish or perish" promotes a vague feeling of anxiety rather than resolute strategic action. Fortunately, there are some simple things that can be done for the immediate benefit of the individual scholar, the academic department, and the university as a whole. I'm ready to help.

The first order of business, then, as my reader reminded me, is to get my own act together again and begin to set a good example. So, until Christmas, you'll find me blogging twice week, posting at 7 AM, Tuesdays and Thursdays. (I may also introduce a weekend post, but let's wait and see.) In the New Year, I'll probably go back to the Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.


Jonathan said...

I think that's an excellent idea. It fits well with your ideas of finitude. It also frees you up because you won't be posting except on those days.

Anonymous said...

I like your plan. Cheers, Karen

Thomas said...

Glad to hear it. I've got to keep the reader in mind, after all. And, yes, remember my finitude.

Tanya Golash-Boza said...

Excellent idea. Looking forward to it!