You might have noticed that there haven’t been many posts on here for a while. Now I’m trying to get back into it, I’ve been pondering what it is that has stopped me from writing recently, and what it was that lead me to start blogging in the first place.
I started writing this blog in October 2012. That’s almost a year ago. At the time, I was feeling what I imagine is a familiar frustration among PhD students: I was terribly worried about writing up my thesis, but I couldn’t write a great deal more without collecting the data I needed.
As a naturally anxious person I tend to preempt future strife, and I was desperate to do something that could be considered productive. I knew that writing up my PhD would be very difficult – it seems to be a subject of legend between postgraduate research students. I was keen to divert this situation, but there wasn’t much that I could write about that would be very useful. I’d written up methods and done a preliminary literature review. I was desperate to write about my ideas for my study, and about the subject in general, but I got the impression that it wasn’t a good idea to write about these things until I’d published, or at least until I’d finished my data collection.
I wanted to start writing articles for publications, but I couldn’t really do this without my data. And my study design was going slowly. There were many decisions to make, and it felt like none of them could end well. So I had all this pent up creativity and writing energy.
So I started this blog, and I joined Twitter. I had initially intended to use these to talk about ideas that I wasn’t going to publish, and to develop an online profile and make myself more employable. But then I found lots of blog posts about writing a PhD. Finding that community was exciting and comforting, and so I started to write about the process of doing a PhD. as a student, it is difficult to feel like an expert in your field, but we are certainly experts in the PhD experience. So I felt more qualified to write about that.
I’m still trying to find my voice, and the focus for this blog, and when I started my data collection my blogging slowed to a halt. I planned lots of posts – think of all the things I could write about when I’d finished my data collection!
And then I did finish! And it was like someone had released me from my cage, and I was a greyhound racing for the finish line. And the blogging stayed dormant. Now I was finally qualified to write my thesis! I wasn’t aware of thinking this, but the blog was no longer necessary.
So what now?