on writing, publishing, and the role of community

In my last post, I wrote about using this coming year to write. Writing not only means sitting down and putting words to paper but also finding an audience for that work. It means learning to navigate the publishing world as much as finding the space and time to compose essays and book chapters.

A new “blog friend,” Anna of Quizzical Mama, who also happens to be an accomplished author, recommended The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry. I am so grateful to her for introducing me to this book and thought I would pass on the favor by letting anyone else who is an aspiring writer know about it. It is truly packed with valuable information on getting published, both by mainstream publishers and with an academic press.

Regular readers will know that I am nothing if not a stout believer in the role of community. This blog came to be because I was looking for that community when I started bike commuting on a daily basis. I wanted to hear from other commuter cyclists about riding in the rain, riding at night, weathing snowy roads, or riding to work in one’s work clothes.

Then, this blog became a place for me to explore the topic of cycling while pregnant. I wanted to keep riding but didn’t know of anyone cycling while pregnant in my “real life” circle of friends. So I turned to the blog community once more and was inspired and encouraged by the many women who chimed in on the topic.

After my daughter’s birth, my focus turned to raising her bilingually, sharing with her both the language of her surroundings (English) and that of her ancestors (Romanian). Although I have a few friends who are raising bilingual or multilingual children, I wanted to hear from as many families as possible. I grew up with multiple languages but my childhood situation differed from that of my current parenting situation in that both my parents spoke the minority language at home, as opposed to me being the sole parent responsible for teaching our daughter the minority language. Once more, hearing from as many people as possible became a huge source of motivation.

Now, I’d like to add a writing community to the things found on Simply Bike. I would love to hear from others out there and I will share any useful information and resources that I come across. The first of those being this awesome book that has given me a more indepth understanding of publishing. I hope you find it useful as well.

I also plan on sharing more often the things that I’m reading. I’ve done that a bit in the past, but I’d like to post more frequently on it in the future. And, as always, I love hearing from you – what you’re reading, what you’re finding useful, what you’d recommend! Thank you for commenting and adding your voice – there would be no community without you!

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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
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8 Responses to on writing, publishing, and the role of community

  1. Susan says:

    I also highly recommend William Germano’s books, “Getting it Published” and “From Dissertation to Book.” I followed the advice closely and have passed the books on to others (who have also had success). There’s also decent books like “Professor as writer,” “How to write a lot,” and “Write your journal article in 12 weeks.”
    This recent article http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2009/JF/Feat/frie.htm gives great advice on creating virtual writing accountability communities with your friends from G-school who are scattered around.
    Good luck! I love your blog (and I hope to join you as a mama someday).

  2. S. says:

    Hi Susan,

    thanks so much for the additional resources! I’m going to look all of those up!


  3. I’m so excited for you! I’m an Academichic devotee (and inspired me to start my own fashion blog) and I’ve found your academic and motherhood journey of the past year very inspiring. I’m happy you’ll be writing more about the scholarly aspect of your life. I am a third-going-into-fourth year assistant professor and will have a sabbatical this fall. I’m also newly married and living with my husband about an hour away from my university, so I’m familiar with your need for community and structure. :) Warm wishes to you and your sweet family!

  4. Anna C. says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter (bring on the cliches!). As an academic attempting to get into writing fiction, I would love to help build a community of writers. I work full time and though it is not as all-consuming as parenting, it is challenging to make the time. Good luck to you. May your writing be uninterrupted, and your word counts high!

  5. Lauren says:

    I’ve promised myself not to buy any more books about writing until I start to make some money (mostly through editing and freelancing related to education — so get in touch if you need an editor, ha!). This one sounds good, though!! Jen and I love to talk books at Mama Nervosa, even though I think it seems random at times.

  6. I’m definitely on the creative side of the writing spectrum, but I am still excited by this new community you’re fostering! Writing is lonely work. It helps to share the successes and failures with others. :)

    I’d like to recommend the book _Forest for the Trees_ by Betsy Lerner. It’s funny, it’s useful, it’s relevant, and it covers everything, from the role of editors to how to not have a nervous breakdown. I had to read it last semester for a class called The Writing Life, and it was the best book by far.

    • simplybike says:

      Hey Chrissy,

      so great to have you chime in since I often look to you and your blog for that writing solidarity! And thanks for the book tip, it’s on my “to read” list now.


  7. Brandy says:

    I don’t have any kids that I’m raising bilingually (yet, at least) nor am I pregnant (yet, at least), but as a Ph.D . student and an avid cyclist, I’m really happy to have found your blog, and especially grateful for this aspect/theme of it!

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