I was MIA last week. I’m never MIA, but I was MIA. That’s right, even more communication advice, so stay tuned! In the meantime, my back was against the wall last week in a way that I haven’t experienced in a while. I know my college readers can relate and I’m sure my non-college audience can, too. That’s why I felt this topic was most appropriate. I’ll be sharing exciting updates very soon about blog changes and book news! Now, let’s talk. I’ve missed you in the past week! When I was in grad school, in one particular term, the number of required papers added up to this number. Now I remember that semester well. Big joke among my colleagues was that you pulled out the least stinky shirt/pants from the laundry heap and wore it without thinking twice. We tried be presentable without being offensive. Doing well on our papers (so many of them!), hopefully getting to present at a conference or two, maybe scoring an early co-authorship on a publication, and maintaining high grades to keep our assistantships. I wore two (smelly!) hats: graduate teaching assistants/research assistants and college students writing an insane number of papers!

I remember I didn’t necessarily have to ask for time to get my work done because my husband and I agreed together that I would go back to graduate school. We didn’t have kids at the time, and we both accepted that sacrificing time from each other would pay off later. And I wasn’t smelling so great, so do you think my husband was really missing me? I knowwwww that brevity is not my strong suit. I own it. I’m working through it. Counseling is on Thursday. Just kidding about that last part. Not that there’s anything wrong with counseling. These days, taking that “cocoon time” to get work done isn’t so easy anymore. I have two little people who demand my attention. I have a dual role on phase 2 of this grant project while I’ve stepped away from teaching through this academic year. I’m The Chicklets roller derby carpool organizer. I have to exercise 6 days a week or risk gaining 5 more lbs. My little guy needs a 4th birthday party planned. My husband has his own high-octane career and is traveling. However, I also have a dream.

I have had a dream to write a book since I was a teenager. This dream has slipped out of my hands twice already (I’ll explain more in another blog post). Now the reality of the dream is about 90 days away. Which hardly seems possible! Students, you know what I’m talking about. You have to edit papers, do projects, study for exams. You need your full concentration. But your life, and the people in your life, need you. School needs you, too. And just like I committed to write a book. So what’s the communication lesson here? Sometimes you need others to leave you alone during those monster project periods! Or maybe you have other needs! But how do you do that? Saying “Damn, I have this huge project to do!” is too vague. I had no problem telling my close friends, casual acquaintances, Twitter pals, my running buddy, even the store clerk (okay, not quite) the magnitude of my challenge.

Every time they said, “Hey, how’s that editing going?” I felt a renewed determination, particularly at the moments that I really felt like giving up. Those who knew kept me going. Be very specific about your needs! Saying, “Why can’t you just give me some time to work?” or “I need quiet!” is too vague of a statement. My editor and I had largely been communicating via e-mail, but after a few back-and-forth’s, I totally picked up the phone and asked for her help in the places I became stuck. If can put my tail between my legs and do it (does that quote ever get old?), so can you! After literally not seeing me most of last week, my 8-year-old expressed considerable discontent. Too distracting for the intense editing I needed to do. Have I had other big, “testing” deadlines or projects in the past 14 years that have forced me to shut myself away? Of course, I have. But, like my graduate work, this book feels intensely sacred, and so incredibly personal. So, wonderful student, just like my editing marathon, and the next one that I’m sure will follow (and the one after that) won’t last forever, neither will your current papers, exams that require hours of studying, or projects. You just might get it. And, hey, ask for a little help with the laundry, should you find that it’s piling up. Students, how do you get the time, space, and quiet that you need to get your studying or writing done? Colleagues, what recommendations do you have for students who don’t have lives that seem to support the hours or environment needed for college work demands?

Needless to say,like all industrial economies, barriers to entry for print publishers were high. The capital cost of setting up a publishing business were not insignificant and as publishers realized they could reach greater audiences with wider distribution, those capital costs increased. However, the considerable benefits were that whoever had the wilder distribution controlled the story, the news and the information. Until very recently,it was a few media proprietors, from around the world that were the arbiters of what we could or should know. A new media has introduced new industry, new professions, and new business models. Advertising has been enabled to support, even carry a media channel. Musical recordings from the 1800s introduced the first “new” mass media. What were first only music recordings on “clay” records eventually evolved to the vinyl recordings of the later half of the last century? The music recordings alone is worth billions of Dollars worldwide today. Music was not the only recorded content. In the 1970s movies appeared on video cassettes and a second major content category for the recording industry was created. Movies started off as a rental business but then added video cassette sales and then the DVD sales and rentals.

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