Friday, 1 May 2015

On [not] Blogging

It makes sense to talk about why I'm blogging. What I'll blog about, what I'm hoping to gain from it, what I'm hoping the reader will gain from it. These are all good places to start.

Except this isn't where I'm starting. The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that this is my third post. The even more eagle-eyed among you may notice that I actually registered this blog months and months ago and that I haven't really posted since then.

I would love to say that it's because I've been super busy leading the glamorous life of the part-time student. But I don't think anyone would buy that. Instead, I haven't blogged for one main reason: I'm terrified. I'm terrified that what I have to say isn't important enough. I'm scared that people won't like what they read. I'm scared that my writing won't be eloquent, and that people think what I'm saying is stupid. I'm worried that people will think I'm stupid.

I think it's interesting that the list of things that scares me about blogging is similar to the list of things that scares me about doing a PhD.
Of course, with blogging, there are other things that might make me not good enough. My photography is mediocre at best: I don't have the money for a DSLR, or Photoshop. (Unfunded graduate student here, hi!) If I take photos of myself, I'm not that photogenic. Or comfortable in front of a camera. Or sure what I could achieve.

But even though a PhD and a blog present vastly different challenges, at the root of my fear, there lies exactly the same thing: perfectionism. I've always been redundantly obsessed with getting it right, to the extent that at school I used to re-copy out pages in my exercise book if I'd messed something up.

I'm trying my best to combat my perfectionism in my thesis by writing a lot of unpolished things and -- here's the scary part -- actually sending it to my supervisors. So, why am I letting the blog defeat me? Why is writing something on the internet that (let's be frank) not many people are going to see more scary than early thesis work?

Well, in answer to your questions, self: 1) I will not let the blog defeat me and 2) Blogging isn't scarier than writing. So this post is a start. I don't know what what this blog is going to be or where it's going to go. But I know that I want to document this process, de-mystify it. And I do know that I can contribute to that desire, one post at a time.

So, consider this step one.

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