My friend Jo wrote a post a while ago that addressed the subject of building an audience for your scholarly work. You can read the post on her blog, here.
One of the things that I think Jo is really great at is thinking practically about academic careers and trajectories in light of the current academic job market. While people working in traditional academic spaces and on a traditional academic course have a different set of challenges than folks like me, her points still resonate.
How do you build networks and audiences? Two things:
- You talk to people.
Audiences are built on relationships. While we might like to think that writers and scholars are able to attract audiences purely on the basis of their work, in practice additional work is required.
- You make sure you have something to show for yourself.
Everyone's got ideas, and projects that they'd like to work on. People love to talk about their ideas. Success, I think, comes when you have something to show for yourself and your projects, and give people some level of confidence that your can make good on your ideas.
In sort, write more, publish more. While quality matters some, being more than someone to talks well at parties is really important.
I think this approach is useful for people doing any kind of creative or intellectual work that engages an audience, but I'm interested in your thoughts.