So, finally, my first blog post (and only 4 days late – yay for friendly deadlines and nudges! (thanks Craig and Sarah)). I say “finally” not in the mistaken belief that this blog will fill some void of expectation but because “starting a blog” has been on my To Do list for at least 3 years. During which time I’ve started 7 blogs, each of which have gotten no further than concept, title and ‘about’ page (actually, the biking blog did get off the ground but Betty (the bike) was stolen, breaking my heart and ending the beginning of a beautiful blogship) before I’ve abandoned the project.
My hesitation about the blogging experiment is a result of the lethal combination of fear and expert level procrastination with a dash of imposter syndrome for good measure. And it seems I’m not alone. There have been a number of variations on the theme that, ‘Women scientists don’t blog but should.’ Why that may be the case and to what extent it’s true is an ongoing topical matter of discussion. Personally, I have (what seem to be) common concerns that play out when I sit down to blog – Do I have anything useful to contribute? Will I make silly mistakes? Is blogging risky? Am I experienced enough? Am I over-analysing things (again)? Should I go and make another cup of tea? Where is the best place to go for a burger tomorrow? Did I save the link for those great anti-#chemphobia natural ingredient infographics? Why do I want to blog, anyway…?
You’ll practice your writing skills, you’ll reach beyond your lab/department/network and you’ll learn new things, I tell myself. Surely, getting egg on your chin in ‘public’ can’t be *that* bad, I tell myself. Even the best procrastinator can put things off only so long… And so, as Athene Donald said to (anxious) would-be bloggers after the 2012 SpotOn London event, it’s time to:
‘Find supporters, take risks and stamp on those fears’ – Athene Donald, To Blog or Not to Blog
It turns out, it took a year for me to get the fear-stamping boots on. Now, I am going to have that cup of tea. J