Friends! I am officially a validated, credentialed post-academic blogger.
Y’all may not know this, since as far as I know, most of my regular readers are inexplicably not members of my elite club of overeducated, underemployed people using their PhDs recreationally instead of professionally, but the post-academic blogger is a popular blogger.
You know that 70% of PhDs who cannot find stable, secure, living-wage employment? That 70% of your children’s college instructors who do not have their own office to decorate with Quentin Tarantino posters and flyers for the next ecofeminist lecture series and photos of the dog?
Well, they need some solace about their sorry lot. And they find it online. My own post straightforwardly addressing leaving academia remains one of my most poplar. But I gots nothing on people with URLs that include variants of “leaving” and “academia.”
A few of the awesomest post-ac/alt-ac bloggers (glossary: simply, alt-ac is PhDs with campus or combo staff/research gigs and un-simply it’s complex, while post-ac, c‘est moi, a PhD whose degree helps her professionally inasmuch as it provides her coworkers with light ribbing material) are putting together an e-book tentatively titled Moving On: Personal Stories of Leaving Academia.
On a lark, I crafted an abstract, and, friends, it was accepted.
My personal story of leaving academia will be made chillingly, revealingly, hilariously public.
I haven’t been this happy about external validation since my essay about Infinite Jest was accepted to one of the fancy-pantsiest journals, where it sits patiently in archives for 3 DFW PhD candidates a year to read and disagree with.
And this is better.
So my light blogging may be even lighter as I use my precious few free weekend hours to write this essay over the next few weeks. And in May, I’ll be trumpeting this e-book like it’ll solve the Middle East. All of it. Which, you never know, maybe it will.
I actually think of this blog as about 85% a post-academic blog. Though most official post-ac blogs are more like dude, I had another job interview and I miss the MLA and WHAT IS UP WITH HR PEOPLE?!? Which is all valuable, and I drank it up for years, including my crucial dissertation-writing years, but isn’t quite my speed.
Instead, Thinker for Hire is my attempt to craft a more popular, engaging intellectuality (?) in a more interesting voice than I employed when I was trying to make a living as a college instructor and scholar.
I’ve found that most non-professional readers truly enjoy hearing the kind of lecture-style mojo I used to spit onto powerpoints. So I’m bloggifying it. Why not write funny book reviews incorporating my specialized knowledge?
I’ve also found that this blog, while its page view numbers could be burlier, has helped me feel better about my writing than I have in years. Than I have, in fact, since before entering grad school.
Thinker for Hire has helped me mitigate the identity-crisis darkness I’ll be (hilariously) describing in this essay. And I plan to keep up the blogstead for the indefinitely long future. Because it’s so fun for me.
Meanwhile, the chance to stretch my legs into an official genre, with a ready and eager audience, thrills me. Though it may involve lessening the already lessened pace over here.
Who knows? maybe it’ll put me on the path to Oprah’s show. It’s either that or solving the Middle East.
All of it.