[AmericanStudier turns 12 this week! There have been a lot of things that have kept me blogging for the last dozen years, but at the top of the list are all the ways it has connected me to others. That especially means the wonderful Guest Posts I’ve been able to share, more and more in recent years, so this week I’ve shared the 25 most recent such Guest Posts (you can find more at this Guest Posts tab). Leading up to this special post on how I see AmericanStudier here in 2022!]
In some central ways, my life is quite similar today to what it was in November 2010, just a good bit further on down the road: my sons were 4 and 3, while today they’re 16 and 15; I was starting my 6th year at Fitchburg State, while this Fall I’m beginning my 18th; I was working on book two, while right now I’m looking to find a home for book seven; and so on. But there have also been some significant changes, and none bigger than my moves into online writing and public scholarship (a decade-long process and evolution that I talked a lot about in my episode of the wonderful Drafting the Past podcast). Those moves have involved lots of different sites and spaces, with meaningful shifts in and between each of them; but there from the start, important and influential not only in beginning that process but at each and every stage since, and still right here we find AmericanStudier.
That paragraph might read like some sort of conclusion, or at least like I’m preparing to make a change. To be clear, neither of those things are true: I still love working on this blog, sharing it with y’all, and (especially, as I hope the week’s posts made clear) featuring so many other voices on it, and I don’t have any plans to stop or even decrease the quantity. Indeed, the only thing I’d say I definitively hope will happen over the next year will be something that has already begun in the last few months: a continued uptick in how many Guest Posts I’m able to share. Perhaps this is a pipe dream, but I’d love to get to a point where every weekend features a Guest Post, or at least that I have the chance to run 2-3 Guest Posts every month (as has been the case over the last few months). I don’t have too much more to say about that, other than, y’know, reach out if you want to be part of it!
When I make the case for why all scholars should consider blogging and online writing (and I’ve made that a case a lot over the last 12 years, including at length in that aforementioned podcast episode), there are all sorts of factors I point to, from keeping our scholarly work going during busy academic years to making connections and networking to finding starting points for book projects. But I don’t know that I’ve said enough what I want to say here: it’s really fun! There’s no way I’d still be doing this 12 years later if I wasn’t getting a ton of enjoyment out of it, and I sure am; it’s one of my favorite things I get to do, and that includes not just writing the posts (which now happens in batches as I’ve discussed before) but rereading and sharing them each and every day. I know our job is a job, and I’m not trying to minimize those elements of it (especially for the far too many folks in this profession who don’t have the job stability I’m so lucky to have found). But we have to be able to find pleasure in this work too, and for me, there’s no part of my career that has given me more enjoyment than public scholarly blogging. I can’t wait to see where the next dozen years take me, and I’m pretty sure AmericanStudier will be there every step of the way.
Next series starts Monday,
PS. Whether you’re a brand-new reader or have been in these blogging streets for years, and most especially if you have ideas for Guest Posts, I’d love to hear from you, in comments or by email!