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Call for participants and ideas — mid-career identity crisis blogging RT and reunion

23 April, 2012

I spent some of the weekend catching up on blog reading, rather than many of the things I should have been doing. I read blogs by people who no longer blog about academia much, but who are friends from the Old Days (TM). I read blogs by people who started blogging back when I did, and who are still blogging their academic lives, but seem to be running out of steam. I didn’t catch up on blogs in the field, and I worry about that, but at the moment, I think there are some understandable reasons.

Anyway, this post at Dr. Crazy’s crystallized some things in what’s left of my mind at this point in the semester. I think part of the reduction in blogging substantially in my case is not only that my life is rather messy at the moment, but also that my life is different. I’m not looking for my first real job anymore. I’m not hoping for tenure. I’m not new faculty. I am worried I’m repeating myself and boring everybody to tears.

So here’s the idea:

Starting around the third week of May, and going for however long we need, is anybody interested in doing a round table of sorts? I’m thinking about perhaps posts on how getting the brass ring has changed our approaches to blogging, and whether developing a blogging persona based on being prospective and junior faculty has affected how we blog now. What are our new concerns? how will/have they changed our approaches to blogging? Are we still connected to our old personae? Can we change them and still remain “us”? And, for those of us who began blogging when already secure, have your blogs changed? Have you seen changes in us?

I’m thinking primarily about a particular group of people, but it’s certainly not a closed group. Off-hand, Dr Crazy, New Kid, Notorious, Belle, Dame Eleanor, Flavia, Historiann, Steve Muhlberger, Undine, Janice, Medieval Woman, Rebel Lettriste (who can blog here, if she likes), Bitch, PhD, Squadratomagico, What Now?, Bright Star, Writing as Jo(e), meg …

Please pass the word, or tell me you think the idea sucks…

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Dr. Crazy permalink
    23 April, 2012 3:38 pm

    I don’t think this idea sucks at all! I’m in! (It will give me something to blog about in these times when apparently I am at a loss for topics :P )

  2. 23 April, 2012 3:45 pm

    I’ve only ever blogged as a tenured person. The pseudonym is partly solidarity with junior faculty (I spun a whole tale for my personnel committee about playing with voice and identity when I listed my blog on my report for annual review), and partly wanting not to be Google-able.

  3. 23 April, 2012 5:29 pm

    I’m up for it (though we’ll have to firm up times, as my post-semester schedule is already silly in the extreme).

  4. 23 April, 2012 6:06 pm

    It would give me an excuse to think about my blogging goals and particularly my desired audience.

  5. 24 April, 2012 12:41 am

    As someone still chasing the brass ring, I can only offer that I would find the reflections of the group you mention very interesting, for what it’s worth.

  6. 24 April, 2012 2:45 pm

    I love it! Can’t be part of it (will be off-line except for massive, intensive catching up on reading) but PLEASE do it!!

  7. 25 April, 2012 3:07 pm

    Hey, you forgot me. I haz a sad now. But seriously, I’d totally do this. One of the reasons for not blogging much this year is the whole mid-career thing and I would *love* to talk about that (as soon as this blasted semester ends).

    • 25 April, 2012 5:19 pm

      I didn’t! I was just throwing out names I could think of quickly, and knew I was leaving people out that I wanted in! So yay — I’ll get things rolling after the zoo :-)

  8. 25 April, 2012 3:50 pm

    Dr. Virago – she left out me, too, and I’ve known her the longest ;)
    I think it’s a good idea. I myself had a VERY down phase last year — I realized I wasn’t even putting stuff up on Flickr or curating the group I manage there (http://www.flickr.com/groups/gothicrevival/); when I checked in there were a couple of hundred photos pending approval!
    I def. think it’s mid-career life-change, and well-worth blogging about.

    • 25 April, 2012 5:18 pm

      Michael — I think I left you out because you have never hidden your employment details from the blog. But obviously, if you want to, you’re welcome — after all, this blog would not exist without you!

      • 25 April, 2012 8:07 pm

        I’ve had a weird spring – and it’s career-stage related. I more or less DIDN’T blog the details of an interesting job search because this time I was the chair. I have a lot of advice for academic job seekers that I’ll post this summer, I guess. Let me share one from today (as we send out the rejection letters to the last group) – our department secretary reminds everyone to put a mailing address SOMEWHERE on the c.v.! Do you think I jest? No! We had to google a department mailing address to send the notice to one of the skype-round interviewees – here’s hoping she gets mail where she says she’s adjuncting!

  9. squadratomagico permalink
    25 April, 2012 4:10 pm

    I’ve enjoyed rededicating the time I used to give towards blogging, to other efforts. OTOH, I also keep thinking that once I get this book off to the publishers (I hope by the end of the calendar year), I’d like to blog again. SO… if this comes to pass I might sign on. It depends a lot on timing.

  10. g2-e3aeccdfae01481f9606a0bedb5510d7 permalink
    25 April, 2012 11:59 pm

    I’m in — that sounds really interesting!

    • 26 April, 2012 12:00 am

      Urgh — that was me! WordPress is totally unfriendly to me these days; I’m not sure what I’ve done to piss it off.

  11. notofgeneralinterest2 permalink
    26 April, 2012 5:05 am

    I’m in, and thanks for the invitation!

  12. profgrrrrl permalink
    27 April, 2012 5:38 pm

    I’m in the same boat, too. I have a ton of unfinished posts about dealing with mid-career life and for a whole bunch of reasons can’t seem to finish them. And then there are others about life in general, and I worry that they’re too boring to post. It’s like I’m silencing myself, and so frustrating.

  13. 4 May, 2012 3:07 pm

    Capital idea! I, typically of me, don’t fit the parameters since my career trajectory has not and is not in any way normal. You know, stuff like becoming a chair in my 2nd year of my first TT job and that sort of thing. But I’d be interested in following the various posts. ADM will you be acting as an aggregator of posts as well as a poster in the conversation?

  14. 10 July, 2012 9:37 pm

    Did this happen? How did I not see this?!

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