Why I’m doing this blog

I wanted to say a few more words about my purpose in running this blog and trying to have some kind of update every weekday. My problem, as a researcher, tends to not be lack of ideas or motivation but mostly related to my, pretty serious, mental illness and just general belief that I have nothing worth saying. I’ve been in grad school for four years now and, well, while I’ve actually done quite a bit of work my publication record is nonexistant. That’s pretty bad for a potential career, isn’t it.

I have a history of filling notebooks full of ideas, proofs, sketches of projects and when it’s basically done shoving it all onto a shelf because I’ve convinced myself it’s all stupid and pointless and probably completely wrongheaded anyway. Of course, the embarassing part is that over the years I’ve done this and seen papers come out on the same topic a year or two later which, strangely, feeds my own belief that I have no ability to contribute as a researcher and why am I bothering anyway if I’m just going to muck it all up.

Well, that all sounds pretty dire and depressing doesn’t it? That’s where having a project like this comes in. I’m using it force myself, in baby steps, to share publicly what I’m reading, and thinking, and working on. Every post I make here is helping me get over all the tracks I play on loop in my head telling me that I have nothing worth sharing. Every time someone reads what I’ve written and the world doesn’t suddenly end in fire, it makes me feel a little safer trying to be a part of the larger research community. Every day that goes by, I’m practicing sharing my voice and convincing myself that it’s okay that I do so.

That’s all pretty personal to share, I suppose, but it was important to me to be honest about why I’m doing this so that it makes sense. I hope I can educate others, exchange ideas, and get other people excited by what I’m excited about but in the end this is an entirely selfish project to help me succeed in academics.


2 thoughts on “Why I’m doing this blog

  1. Another useful bit is when you go back months or years later, after you have been out of the context of your work for a while, and realize that what you were working on is actually non-trivial and the post helps you relearn it. That’s been my experience anyway.

  2. Pingback: Beeminder, Org Mode, and Mental Illness | Inconsistent Universe

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