This Blog Is Not Popular

July 30th, 2008 by Potato

Though I don’t write with a mind to what people might want to read and just write/rant about whatever happens to interest me at the time, I always kind of fancied having people read what I say. I know that I really only have about 3.5 readers (the half is the guy who keeps checking in every few weeks just to say “TLDR”), and suddenly I think that might be a good thing.

Right now I’m struggling, really struggling, to finish writing a paper. I like science, I like what I do (err… mostly), and I love the fact that I’m advancing knowledge, possibly standing on the forefront of a major revolution in medical care. Of course, all my work is really for naught if I can’t share it with the world, which is where the publishing process comes into play. Publishing my work and contributing to the body of knowledge of the human race is perhaps the coolest thing I will ever do, but I also find the whole idea patently terrifying. This is not a small or friendly audience I’m trying to address, and once the paper is out of my hands there’s very little I can do to affect changes if a mistake slips through. Just thinking about what potential reviewers might find to criticize locks my brain up in a kind of writer’s paralysis; stage fright of the written word. When I don’t really care what people think when they read my writing, when everything is at least psydoanonymous, and particularly when I can play it fast and loose with the references (how I hate referencing), I can hammer out prodigious word counts. Most of my blog posts go up almost as fast as I can type them out, often without any proof reading even — a few thousand words a night is not uncommon (this post was hammered out in like 20 minutes and has 373 words). When it’s for a serious publication, suddenly I lock up and my output drops to something like 50 words/day average. I just churn the keyboard, writing and re-writing and deleting and staring and thinking and worrying.

This blog is not popular. I think that might be a good thing, or else it might not exist at all.

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