Ironically, the same day I wrote a challenge about being of service, I had my first negative exchange on Twitter! I have since been informed by my social media advisers (gee, that sounds like a silly way to say well-wired friends!!) not to worry. You have not been initiated onto Twitter, I am told, until someone rips you a new one in response to your good intentions. So, I am now officially part of the community!
A few things do come up for me in response. First, my gut told me to disengage after the first exchange; I did not listen to my gut. I actually felt it when reading a few of the scholar's other posts. Always, always trust your gut (unless your gut lies to you about certain issues :)). While I did not say anything I regret, I did sense a certain nastiness coming my way; best to let go at first sign of such stuff.
Second, there is SOOO much bad advise and misinformation out there. There are so many old rules and conventions about writing and publishing articles and books that we internalize. Old “wisdom” about what works in one discipline actually often serves to keep young scholars “in their place,” and maintain those in power and privilege. In other words, if you somehow break the rules and thrives, well, you might replace said scholars! There are also a lot of people invested in saying how hard and awful academia is; its big business!
Third, it is time to begin the revision of my book, Practical Tips for Publishing Scholarly Articles, in earnest. The 3rd edition will push the book beyond the human services toward all disciplines. In truth, most of it already really is for a general scholarly audience, but it needs work to really make it a true interdisciplinary resource, examples and and all.
Fourth, and this really perhaps is related to the first point I made, is to know when to try to be helpful and when to shut the #(#($ up. Its not the first time that my sincere desire to help has been misinterpreted. I preach “look at your psychosocial stuff”- here is one that I clearly need more work on.