Friday, 22 January 2016

Blogging Resolutions: 2016

When I started a blog, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was hoping to achieve, but I did know a few things:
  • I wanted this blog to be about the process of doing a PhD, not about my research output (hence the name);
  • I wanted to use this blog as a platform for building community with other PhD students;
  • I wasn’t averse to using this blog for non-PhD things, when they came up.

As time has gone on, these desires have caused me no end of problems. I’ve often thought that if I’m documenting the process as it happens, that requires me to accept that I’m not an expert. I think, if I’m not an expert why should anyone read what I have to say? And then I think, but surely community-building is about being authentic, so why do I have to be an expert? I'm not! But then, I think isn’t that just self-indulgent? And then I think well what is the point of a blog anyway?

Are you bored of this already? I know I am.
I haven't resolved this pull between being authentic and offering something of value. I still don't know if this blog is 'right' or 'useful.' I certainly don't think it's contributing to my overall academic output. But it does bring me enjoyment, and has introduced me to some very awesome people in the field. So despite the fact I don’t set much store by resolutions, I am going to make some resolutions about  this blog, right now.

  • I resolve to stick with my intended aims when I blog.
  • I resolve to post only when I have something worth saying, and accept that this might mean posting less frequently.
  • I resolve to offer my own experiences, not as though I’m an expert, but just because they’re my experiences.

2015 was an amazing, life-changing year. This blog - imperfect as it is - has already done more than I thought it would. (Not least of all because people have actually read it!) If you're here reading this, thank you. Here's to 2016!

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