There is the common saying in academia “publish or perish”. This is often seen in a negative light.

But what if we flipped the notion upside down, and thought that publishing IS PLEASURE?


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Why is ‘publish or perish’ seen as such a bad notion?

Nobody likes to publish against their own will. Perhaps the stress is also feeling like you must publish according to someone else’s schedule, instead of being able to follow your own personal rhythm in publishing.

To make public

Studying the etymology of the word ‘publish‘ is interesting, because it has to do with making something public for the public (the people). Therefore to publish something is simply to make something public.

Blogging is publishing, because you make it public. If you write in a diary or journal, it isn’t publishing, because it is personal to you.

Why the pressure to publish?

In academia, the ‘publish or perish’ notion is this:

In order to secure your spot and tenure, you must make your research public, in order for the institution to justify your worth.

Now academics always get stressed out about publishing. Why? They are soooo busy not only doing their original research, but serving on committees, teaching, preparing their courses, going to conferences, dealing with travel and logistics, etc.

But something I’m curious about:

Do academics really like publishing, or do they simply publish for the sake of getting a tenured position?

Publish and perishing notions in blogging, social media, YouTube, etc.

There are similar notions with internet publishing. The notion ‘feed the beast’ or ‘upload or perish’ seem to fit well here.

But my thought is this:

Much of social media is about FOMO (fear of missing out) or fear of being forgotten than actually the joy of publishing, sharing, and making things public.

Not only that, but this horrible obsession with numbers, views, followers, etc. Numbers don’t matter– longevity, depth, profundity, and wisdom matter.

Only publish if you get pleasure from it

This is my thought:

If you publish something which brings you pleasure, it is more likely to last.

Why? To publish something which gives you pleasure is actually an indicator that you’re doing something truly for the love of it, or that thing actually interests you. And generally things which interest you have a high likelihood of interesting others.

Only publish what you care for

Thus, my simple takeaway is this:

Only publish what you care for.

Also, publish and make public your thoughts or art-works which resonate with you. The more your artwork resonates with yourself, the more likely it is to resonate with others.

ERIC


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