Edited by Luke Plonsky
[Not in series 229] 2020
► pp. 166–180
Chapter 12. Crossing over
Writing (and talking) for general (as compared to academic) audiences
Drawing on my own experience, I address some of the challenges and benefits of writing for both academic and general audiences. I note, for example, that when I write for general audiences, I can’t say much of what I know because it would take too long to explain. In my academic writing, I can’t say much of what I know because I can’t prove it. Among the challenges are the scorn for and misconceptions about each world that are held by denizens of the other. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of moving from academic to trade publishing is not the writing itself but getting published. To illustrate, I recount the tortuous sagas behind the publication of my first two general-audience books. I conclude by observing that understanding the vicissitudes of writing for these two audiences sheds light on how language works.