5 Things: Why I’m Blogging

There are plenty of things that I should probably be working on now instead of writing this (or alternatively, things that I should be doing instead of thinking about my work), but here we are.  Why am I blogging?  Here are five reasons:

  1. Just for kicks
    I really enjoy writing for fun, but in academia, writing needs to be very clear, precise, and factual, so the format sometimes feels a bit constraining- there’s not as much room for colour, creativity, or opinions.  But this is my website, so I can write whatever the heck I want!
  2. Coastally curious
    Every day, I encounter so many utterly fascinating things in the course of my work, and this gives me a place to share them. This curiosity and love of learning is one of the main driving forces in my life, and I want to spread the joy!  Besides, who doesn’t love beaches?
  3. Practice makes perfect
    This is also a chance for me to practice my explaining my work to a broader audience.  One of the biggest challenges facing scientists is communication: how can we distill the important messages from our work and explain them in a way that is relevant and persuasive?  I’m introverted at heart and a little uncomfortable with shameless self-promotion, but it seems that “selling your science” to the public is becoming more and more necessary for researchers to survive these days.
  4. Thinking out loud
    Writing is the medium in which I feel I can express myself most clearly, but in order to write clearly, you first need to think clearly.  As I’ve learned from my adventures as a TA, you really don’t understand something until you can explain it to someone else.  I hope that by writing here about my work, I can bring some order to the chaos of my muddled thoughts on muddy water…
  5. The clock is ticking…
    I am in the final third of my PhD now, and it’s time for me to write up all of my findings from the past few years into scientific articles.  Most of the writing advice I have read suggests that the secret to productivity is developing a habit of writing a little bit every day.  I’m hoping that this blog gets me into a groove that will spill over into my professional writing.

Let’s see how it works out!

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