Academic Writing…who knew?

Good afternoon! I feel like it has been forever since I’ve been on here. I’m terrible at blogging…my apologies if you visit often! Unfortunately my website was under attack for awhile, but thanks to my tech-savvy sister I am up and running again!! So it’s finally time to get back on track. Today’s topic? Academic writing.

This is not an area I ever thought I would be interested in. However, due to the nature of my ‘desk job’ and the wonderful faculty that I collaborate with, this door opened to me recently. I accepted the invitation (begrudgingly, I admit) to be an author on an article about institutional tracks for pharmacy rotation students and their subsequent post-graduate positions. Part of my position is collecting the post-graduation placement, so naturally the faculty member working on this project came to me for numbers. After learning that I have a background in writing, I was asked to help put the document together. Considering my first love is fiction writing, I wasn’t super excited about the idea, but at the same time it could lead to another publication, so I went for it.

I have to admit…it was fun! I enjoyed the statistical analysis and writing about the results. I guess I am more of an academic than I once thought. 🙂 We found out last week this article has been accepted in a top-tier journal for health-system pharmacists. I can’t wait to see it in print! And the ideas for additional articles are already flowing. I never thought I would say this, but I can’t wait to start on the next project!

This has been a lesson learned for me – writing means writing no matter what genre it is, and when I’m writing I am happy. I spend so much time talking with our students about the importance of networking and making connections – you know just never know what doors might open up. It’s exciting that I now have a personal story to back up my claims during class. I may be well-established in my career, but it is still important to practice what I preach if I want to learn and grow as a professional.

So my advice to you today – if you are afraid to try to write something new and different than you’ve ever written before, take a risk and jump off the ledge! The worst that could happen? It doesn’t work and you abandon the project. But one more tip – don’t try it alone. Collaborate with others you work with who have done it before and will support you through the process. There’s no better way to learn. And if you have that support, chances are you will be successful. But if not…there is still a lesson to be learned.

Go for it…it will be worth it!