On Being an Independent Scholar

If pressed, this is what I would say I am.  By design, because I am not employed by a university and so don’t have the resources I need at the ready. But also by choice, since I have decided to pursue scholarship independent of a formal academic environment. There’s actually a National Coalition of Independent Scholars: http://www.ncis.org/

I am still finding my way around this role, which doesn’t quite feel official, since I am still technically a graduate student (I graduate in May of this year). Once those ties are severed, I will be out on my own. No advisor to “nudge” me. No program to complete. No external demands.

Only internal ones.

Which is fine since I work best when I push myself. I simply make the decision to do something, and then I set about doing it.

So, on to my goals.

Writing a Conference Paper

My first goal after having completed the dissertation is to submit an abstract for a health activism conference at Yale University. If it’s accepted, I will go about the business of writing a conference paper – something I’ve done many times before.

Writing a Journal Article

The conference paper draft may or may not serve as the foundation for writing an article for publication. I have at the ready Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks, which should help guide me through the process of selecting a topic, determining which academic journals to pitch, and figuring out how to draft a letter/abstract for consideration.

Writing…a Book!

One of my final goals is to write a book. That sounds so daunting, but when you think about how much I’ve already written, and how I’m going to work my way up to this step, it’s totally doable. I have already learned a lot from this book.

I’ll just keep plugging away on my Independent Scholar path, and see what interesting stuff I encounter along the way.

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