Suck It Up. Enhance Production.

numbersA number of folks at MLA 2011 were kind enough to mention that they’ve found my “advice” postings useful.  In the hopes of continuing to help, here’s one more before I veer back to other blog topics (children’s literature, comics, biography, music, etc.).  Today’s topic is: how do you develop a robust CV quickly?

As noted in “Up from Adjuncthood,” this was a matter of some urgency: when I earned the Ph.D. in 1997, I had zero publications.  To escape terminal adjuncthood, I’d need to transform an anemic CV into a healthy one.  I found Michael Bérubé‘s CV on-line (a full version was on-line back then), and decided to emulate him.  I knew I was neither as smart nor as talented a writer as he, but (I reasoned) I could at least strive to be as productive.

It’s a simple calculus.  If you publish one article a year, then in five years you have five articles; two a year, then you have ten in the same period.  Similarly, if you can publish a book every five years, then in a decade, you’ll have two. I never literally followed this x-articles-per-year model. The idea was not to meet annual quotas. It was to think about the long term. If you maintain a steady rate of production, then, over time, publications add up.

And they have.

I’ve already blogged about How to Publish Your Book.  It occurs to me that I ought to write another post on How to Publish Your Articles.  Too often, I think, we academics take for granted that aspiring scholars already know the ins and outs of how academia works – forgetting that we had to learn this, too.  So…, I’ll do an Article-Publishing post soon.

Oh, and bonus points for anyone who guesses the song quoted in the post’s title.  Need a hint?  It’s included on Never Say Die: A Mix for Job-Seekers (posted back in September).


  1. Kristin McIlhagga


    I’m not sure about the song title, it will probably come to me in the middle of the night. But, as a current Ph.D. student staring into the future (I’m half-way through my program), I would really appreciate a post on How to Publish Articles. I feel like it’s something behind the curtain with the Wizard of Oz, and any insight from those who have done it is priceless.

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