Crafting an identity.

Like you, I wear several hats. In my professional identity it has become increasingly important to specify what that hat looks like, and how I look when I’m wearing it. This way, others will recognize me and come to know me through my work.

In my (somewhat futile) attempts to publish first and sole-author manuscripts in peer-reviewed top-ranked research journals (i.e., reject, reject, reject), I am learning important lessons that continue to inform my practice as a writer, and shape what I do.

1. Don’t back down. Keep knocking at the door. These failures are lessons to teach me to be a better writer, and damn it, if it were easy what fun would it be? My daily writing practice supports my ambition to achieve these goals. I have 3+ active research manuscripts in progress and will keep stepping up to the plate.

2. My ideas matter. In the face of rejection (a.k.a., learning), I have recognized the power of sharing my ideas through informal writing (hence the blog). These parallel avenues allow me to develop and convey my ideas while exploring a more informal medium. Indeed, my writing about my writing brings clarity to my writing. Novel concept, huh?

3. The sharing of ideas is part of how ideas take shape. It is good (and socially acceptable and expected) that as individuals we convey a presence in both face-to-face, and online media. So I’m doing just that. For my online identity: follow the beauty I see in the world on Instagram. Follow one very small (yet growing) strand of the professional side of my life on ResearchGate or GoogleScholar. Follow my passion for yoga at Perennial Yoga and Meditation by practicing with me, or learning from my teachers and mentors whom I follow on Twitter or Facebook.

4. #progressinpress is now and will continue to be an important part of my work. It means that I am making a difference in the world with my ideas. Many of those ideas are literally in progress and will soon be in press. Ideas take time to grow, but the power of idea ideas lies in it’s potential to change the world.

5. Believe in your own work. I believe that in this grand universe I am part of something larger than myself, and will continue fighting the fight. I work for them. I work for you. Work with me.

6. The work of a writer is never finished. There is always more to write. In a future post, I’ll explore some of the ways I’ve learned to communicate my research to varied audiences, including an elevator speech. Research on students’ learning of mathematics is sexy? Yes. Yes it is. Stay tuned…

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