How I work the 12 steps of Publish & Flourish: An interview with Tara Gray

Tara Gray, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Criminal Justice and founding director of the Teaching Academy at New Mexico State University. She has published more than 30 articles and three books including Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar.

Here Gray discusses how she incorporates her 12 steps to Publish & Flourish into her own writing process.

How to use social media as an academic writer

Social media has become an influential force in both our personal and professional lives. According to Mark Carrigan, social media trainer and sociologist at the University of Warwick, social media offers many benefits for academic writers. In a recent TAA webinar entitled, ‘What On Earth Will I Tweet About?’: Feeling Comfortable with Social Media as an Academic, Carrigan shared some of those benefits.

“One advantage of social media for academic writers is that it allows you to have an independent presence online so if you switch institutions, you can still easily be found,” Carrigan said. Since many academics work at multiple educational institutions during their careers, an independent online presence can be an invaluable networking and promotional tool.

What to consider before co-authoring

Co-authorship can be an extremely valuable experience for academic authors, but it can also pose unique challenges. When selecting a co-author it is important to consider several factors—including his or her area of expertise, writing ability and personality—in order to ensure that the co-author experience is a positive and successful one. It is also important to assess a potential co-author’s level of commitment to ensure that all parties are truly vested in the project.

5 Suggestions for writing outside of your discipline

My own work has taken me far afield from my study of law. I’ve delved into feminist theory, critical race theory, rhetorical theory, literary studies, urban planning, and more. I’ve always found that the most interesting texts — textbooks, journals, book reviews — are those that are written in an interdisciplinary fashion. Maybe that’s my liberal arts education coming through, but there’s something about reading a law text with history examples, or an article on communication theory that pulls in political science, or even a sociology selection that combines medicine and health sciences literature that is simply more interesting. Students, professionals, and other scholars likely appreciate the interconnectedness of our interests as well. In order to keep people questioning and pondering, encourage broader discussion of relevant issues, and develop an increasingly interested and literate public, we must be able to do more than write inside our comfort zone.