I am a second-year Assistant Professor of cultural Anthropology at a large, public, research (VHR) institution. With the tenure clock ticking and my hours of field recordings, pages of field notes, and the knowledge that in cultural Anthropology a book is the cornerstone of many successful careers, I’ve decided to spend 2013 writing a book manuscript. I would like to have enough done by November to peddle it around at our annual meetings, and hopefully submit proposals by the end of the year.
I have created this blog as a way to hold myself accountable as I balance writing this manuscript with teaching, ongoing research, and committee responsibilities. This is going to be my organizational tool, where I hope to set realistic deadlines for myself and hopefully meet them. Because I am evaluated every year on my progress, I really can’t afford to spend an entire year working on a book manuscript and have nothing to show for it at the end of the year, so sticking to this is absolutely crucial. Why blog about it? Well, I am someone who does well when writing in a group. So I looked for a similar blog to help motivate me, and I couldn’t find any (if you know of any, PLEASE let me know!). The kicker is, I know several people who are either working on book manuscripts or planning to. It occurred to me this blog might be helpful to not just me, but other young faculty members trying to get their foot in the academic world.
One day, as I thought about the terrifying, daunting task of writing an academic book, I glanced at the Most Useful Book Ever Published, Wendy Belcher’s workbook, Writing your Journal Article in 12 Weeks. For the last year, this book has been a sort of Bible for me –it has successfully guided me to publishing two (as of right now) articles and continues to be useful as I write and submit others. The thought went onto my facebook status as quickly as it occurred to me: “I wish Wendy Belcher would write an workbook called Writing your Academic Book in 12 Months.“ Of course, that book does not exist (nor will it, in the coming years –I asked). So I was left looking at this amazing work, thinking, “I bet I can find a way to use the workbook to write my book!” and then it hit me: I probably am not the first person in the world to think this. So, why not blog about it?
There you have it, the inspiration for this blog. Finding ways of adapting Wendy Belcher’s workbook to writing an academic book in 12 months.