In updating my #writinginpublic page, I first drafted a 177 word statement.  I then began to tweets bits of it, but in the process edited down each sentence I cut and pasted into twitter.  I quickly realized these 111 character limited (39 characters had to go to ‪#writinginpublic ‪http://wp.me/P2kECh-2 ) were better, so I reverse engineered, cutting and pasting back into my webpage.  I ended up with 85 words, half the original length.
Below are the finished and original version.
Finished

Writing in public derives from my work on the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s and 1980s.  I follow in the footsteps of other women who sought to erode the distinction between public and private to reveal the politics underneath.
Academic writing practices mystify the labor writing  takes.  The commodification of ideas as currency in academia means that writing is often concealed.  Many academics  conceal interim versions in the struggle towards a publishable version.
Finally, writing in public counters the isolation of the academic writer.

Original

Writing in public, derives from my work on the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s and 1980s.  I follow in the footsteps of other women who sought to erode the distinction between public and private to reveal the politics underneath.
Academic writing practices mystify the labor involved in the production of seamless, elegant prose and occludes the very real work  that writing takes.   The commodification of ideas as currency in academia means that writing is often hidden.  The focus on quality in the final product means that many academics hide those transitional interim versions in the struggle towards a publishable version.
Finally, writing in public provides a way to counter the isolation of the academic writer, to harness the very best of what many of us experienced in dissertation writing groups during grad school, but have lost in the enduing years.  Because I teach in what I sometimes think must be the smallest history department in the United States (I’m one of two), using technology to reach other academics and activists provides a counterpoint to the isolation.

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