Often my posts mention my dealings with academia, and the stark contrasts between the “normal” world and the academic domain. These differences have sparked an interest in figuring out the psychology of not only some professors but the world they are enmeshed in. One of the things I have noticed during my time as a graduate student in an MFA program is the difference in publishing goals and how the professors treat their writing versus how most authors deal with their work and how they market it.
To be hired as a professor, one must publish at some point, and it seems for some that the only reason they have published anything is to able to put it on their resumes. Maybe I’m naive and idealistic, but to write a novel or short stories to check off a box seems disingenuous. If you have a passion for writing, why would you only write one book or a handful of short stories? Most writers have a hard time stopping or getting other work done when the writing bug bites, so how can one instruct and inspire young writers when they haven’t really done it themselves? Can you really consider yourself a writer or author when you only write to further your career goals? It most definitely is not my motivation for writing, but I cannot say why others do it. Continue reading