The (other) secret
Some days there’s just so much going on it’s hard to figure out what to write about. Daily writing is hard because some days you have 50 things you want to share and some days you can’t figure out a single thing that would be interesting to write about. While I have a million things to do, none of them are new and interesting enough to share. So today I’ll let you in on my secret.
Lately I’ve been hung up on writing. Technical writing, writing for fun, just all sorts of writing. It’s grant season you see, so now is the time people like me beg for money so that I can continue my research. Now as a student I can’t technically submit a grant, but I can write one that my PI submits. It sounds shaddy, but it’s a common practice and is actually good for my career because it shows that I have experience doing this.
Then there’s my blog, a daily glimpse into the life of a PhD candidate, my life. It’s a mess, just like the blog, but it’s a mess with a direction at least, I know where I am and I know where I want to go. It’s just a matter of getting there and articulating the journey along the way well enough for people who are interested in it to follow along. Yeah, it’s a mess, but it’s my mess, welcome to it.
Now for the secret I promised. When I’m not sure what I want to write about I won’t title my post, I won’t think it out, I’ll just start writing. Sometimes it’s very similar to other writings, mostly because I’m human and I have a lot of the same feelings, but sometimes I get lucky and hit on something new and interesting. I don’t pay too close attention to my blog stats (okay I do, but I don’t let them dictate my writing), but usually I know I’ve made a good point when a post gets a lot of love.
Sometimes I write things that are useful! My “know your spinal cord” series for example, are some of my most visited posts this year! That makes me happy since I do love a good spinal cord… wait what? But seriously, posts like that put out useful information into the world and I’m glad to be a part of that. I hope to write a follow up some day in the future, or maybe do some in depth writing about the work I do once I get some publications from it first.
In case you’re wondering, yes today’s post was inspired by the fact that I didn’t really have a topic in particular I wanted to talk about. Also, it’s probably good for anyone else who writes for fun to know that sometimes you don’t need a topic to start, sometimes you just dive in and start writing something to see what it morphs into. That doesn’t mean I won’t go back and remove sections that are disjoint or change things, but usually I don’t do a whole lot of proofing to my blog posts since that’s kind of the point.
Point of today? Sometimes you don’t need to have a clear destination to get to where you want to be, at least when it comes to writing. Sometimes just writing a few words will help get the ball rolling and before you know it you have a fully formed thought. Weird, right?