"I'm an academic. It's publish or perish." - Daniel J. Bernstein
We live in the midst of an information stream that continues to confront various text genres. The information is available to access, read, and debate. Our struggles with texts often entice us to ask: how should we react to it? Whether we should be the imitators of information or the knowledge producers is a reflective question actually.
The waves of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 bring great changes in human life. One of those changes is how easily we access knowledge. Doors to knowledge from all over the globe have opened up. Western and Eastern worlds are equally wide-ranging for us to enter. Both are accessible on behalf of automation and digitization.
The majority of us have social media. The account is then considered to be a representation of humans. When we look at social media today, a variety of information is available there from private to public ones. Everything is plainly visible and free to read by others. Therefore, social media, in addition to narcissistic forums, is also the most effective reproach tool.
Do we use social media as much as possible? Is it just for entertainment? Is it maximized in the framework of the development of our thinking framework? These questions have become a representation of the state of social media users. For the majority, out of the three questions, social media is as a mere entertainment. It is like a living complement.
I am the type of person who uses social media to update knowledge. That's because of the sophistication of the 21st century technology that still supports my activities as a writer. I try, though not every day, to write social media status seriously. The word "serious" here does not mean far from the theme of entertainment, but the sincerity to think carefully of what will be written on that status.
Writing, for me, is a way to communicate to audiences. I communicate in that way for two reasons: (1) to sharpen my analytical skill; and (2) to deliver my thoughts to society. Both of these reasons have driven me to maximize social media for learning and sharing.
The focus of my writing is about education, literacy, culture, language, and literary criticism. Every time I write, I definitely focus the writing on those five aspects. It is also because of my academic background, the discipline of Language and Literature of Indonesia. However, I am not the type of writer who is obedient to the discipline of science. I tend to write with an interdisciplinary approach.
In addition to social media like Facebook and Instagram, I actively write in print and online. Newspapers such as The Jakarta Post, Kompas, Kedaulatan Rakyat, Bernas, Solopos, Padang Ekspres, Jawa Pos, Geotimes, Qureta, and others have published my writing. In the last three years, after graduating from S-1, I have a commitment to share my knowledge in these media.
Why am I writing actively? To me, writing is an intellectual responsibility. When you go to university then—I think—you must share the knowledge to the community. If you do not do so, you are an irresponsible scholar. Why? Because you already have an extraordinary scientific background. Therefore, you must share it with people.
I manifest this idealism into the writing slogan: one day, one post. The determination seems to be too pushy. However, I believe, with all the complete writing facilities in this era, we should be more productive. Don't we have laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other powerful tools? If you have those, why don’t you use them to write?
We belong to the millennial generation. The differentiation between one generation and another, in my opinion, is how productive we are in working. If you are from the English Education Department, writing is certainly part of your duties. In my case, the formulas of writing are only three: writing, writing, and writing. That is to say, writing is a praxis skill that must be trained all the time. Of course, before writing, we have to read and discuss a lot so that the quality of our writing increases.
After writing, what’s next? I think we should publish the article. Do not be scared of criticism. For me criticism is a free input. Which portal is willing to publish our writing? Many! In the midst of digital literacy today, there are many online media that can load our writing. The procedure is easy. Write first, then send it to the publishers or editorial teams you want.
What if it does not get accepted? Do not give up quickly. If it is not accepted for publication yet, evaluate it. Fix it and send it again. I myself have started learning to write since the first semester. During college I always tried to improve my writing. Even today, I still keep brushing up on my writing. There I found a very pleasant process. Writing, for me, is a way of living through the process of life.