Friday, November 09, 2012

The next interesting thing in my life...

It's now three weeks since we've been back from our Peru and Galapagos trip. I was watching a tv show tonight about the two places and they still seem surreal and transcendental. Work was extremely busy since I have been back so I am looking forward to this long weekend.

Last week Friday, I met with one of my colleagues Arlene - who I think I can now refer to as a friend - for lunch and while walking to the restaurant, I had what I can only call an epiphany. I was thinking for some time that I would like to publish one chapter of my dissertation as a stand-alone book and while going to the restaurant, I decided to ask her to do some editing for me. I have read and re-read the chapter and have had Robin review it and had it pass muster with an exam committee of 6 academics who said it was well written, but from everything I have read about getting a book published, it is very advisable to get someone to edit it. Arlene agreed to do it.

Last week I attended a two-afternoon workshop on self-publishing and it was quite useful. That, along with the lunch date with Arlene, may have served as the impetus to dip my feet into the world of publishing. I should correct myself. In fact, I am already a published author - a chapter in the book Standardization in TVET Teacher Education - in which I advocate for a transformative pedagogy for technical/vocational teachers.

I came home and went to the publisher's website and registered for an author's guide. Within a couple of days I was contacted by someone from the company and after getting a lot of information and asking way too many questions, I signed with them to get my book published. I have not yet decided on a title for the book or what the cover design will look like but in due time, I hope to have all that done. This is an exciting time for me because over many years, different people have said that they enjoy my writing and I should consider publishing some of my work.

I was not always confident about my skills, much as I was not always confident of my academic abilities but I have to trust my gut feeling that I have to attempt this even if it does not turn out to be successful. In the end I will be able to say that I tried but I will never have to tell myself that I regretted not even trying. I ask a lot of questions and I am very analytical about the things that I do - trying to anticipate every scenario. I then make up my mind and once I do that, I will commit all that I can to doing a good job. This is the next thing and I will make very effort to succeed.
I think the self-published book could fit into several genres, have good readability and appeal to a wide audience, including those who are interested in:
  • creative non-fiction
  • history
  • post-colonial critiques
  • the Guyanese experience
  • cultural studies
  • gender studies
  • critical pedagody
  • anti-racist education
  • social class
  • social justice
  • memoir writing
I hope that those of you who have been reading my blog will have some interest in reading the book and/or promoting it to anyone who you think might be interested in any/some of the above themes.

I will let you know how the publishing experience is progressing. Wish me luck.