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Friday, December 17, 2010

SMT--The Book (Introduction)

This is a book for everyone who wants to get something written within the academic world--and beyond. It will not replace more complete guides to grammar or time management; it is not a style guide like The Chicago Manual or a treatise on research methodology, or a defense of the humanities. It includes ideas and tips on many of these topics, but not in particularly systematic form. Stupid Motivational Tricks consists of a selection of blog posts in a few categories, ranging from the scholarly base and "scholarly self-fashioning" to task management.

I am a moderately successful academic in a Spanish and Portuguese Department of a mid-Western University. One thing I have been able to do with more than moderate success is to publish books and articles and become a recognized scholar in my field. My tips might be more useful for scholars in the Humanities, but I believe many of them have wider applicability. I have learned quite a bit from one of the other authors of the blog, Thomas Basbøll, a poet and scholar of organization theory working in Denmark, despite the differences in our academic training. Perhaps because of these differences. Some of my tips might be relevant to other kinds of work, whether or not it is academic or even writing. My other sometime blog collaborator, Bob Basil, shares my background in academic humanities and, like Thomas, teaches in a business school. I'd like to emphasize what academic writing shares with other types of effective communication rather than what makes it unique.

This book is informed by own distinctive approach and sensibility, my own sense of humor and propensity to outrage. While my quirky writerly voice might not be congenial to everyone, I believe my core principles are valid ones. Develop and maintain your scholarly base, intelligently manage your time and space, refine your prose style, and get to work.


Andrew Shields said...

When's the book coming out? :-)

Jonathan said...

I have to put it together first and then investigate my publish-on-demand options. I'll begin the putting-together in January.