I used to chomp at the bit and stomp my feet waiting anxiously for people to notice me, to invite me to contribute to books, give talks, be on panels, anything. My colleagues ahead of me told me to calm down, do my work, forget about it. Eventually, things would happen.
So I did. Sort of. Having a blog helped.
Then this summer, things changed- quite suddenly, actually. It wasn't tied to anything important of mine coming out in print (the important things are still forthcoming for, like, EVER). It just started happening. First I got invited to contribute to an anthology. Then Major Important British Scholar took an interest in my work. Then another anthology invitation, &c. I think maybe The Library fellowship helped.
Yesterday I was invited to give a talk at a Very Nice (and Important) Place, which I shall call University of The City (UTC). And there is a small honorarium.
(By the way, the person who invited me was a remarkably talented and mature UTC grad student I met during one of my research trips this summer. So don't ignore the grad students. They can and do make things happen).
I've not yet been invited back by my graduate program at Quill & Stylus University (QSU), but I'd rather not go back just yet. It's only been three years and I'm still relishing my time away. Besides, that particular kind of evisceration is best endured after securing a book contract.
I hope this is the start of a good semester- first day is tomorrow. I'm bringing along a rare books librarian (and some rare books) for first day show-and-tell.