I find myself much less enthusiastic about writing this week; I think it is because I have spent the last two weeks sat in this chair writing. One thing I have realised from this extended period of writing is that without being in the lab I feel as if I am standing still. For me, I think I will need to plan my project better so that I am mixing up writing and practical work; I theorise that I will enjoy my time much more and feel more momentum if I can plan practical work and writing side-by-side.
I have completed my guest blog post for The British Nutrition Foundation; I had to cut the word count down to 650 words from 1200. I might write a separate blog post on the experience of writing a guest post in the future. I had been reading other posts on their site, just to get an idea of the style of writing, and on a few articles I copied them into a document to check the word count. Not to my surprise, the word counts were all above the limit I was given. Seeing as this is my first guest post I am very keen to please the editor, but I am not sure how comfortable I was cutting words from my post to fit an arbitrary word count. I am sure experienced writers would have a few things to say about this. Anyway, it is likely to be posted or axed by this point, so I shall add the appropriate link here.
I have also been writing and editing my six-month review documents, I need to produce a report where I explain what I have been doing and what I plan to do. Alongside that document I have to report all the presentations, outreach activities, courses, and pieces of writing I have completed. It helps to set goals, but I can’t help thinking that I should spread these sorts of activities out so that I have something to put in the box at each six.-month report. I realise this is an expedient view of things, but I don’t want to work harder than is strictly necessary if only to avoid the mental health issues that are more than likely to come my way.
Bundled in with a week of writing, is a hell of a lot of reading. In my case, reading is the reading of scientific papers, which is tiring and time-consuming. If the paper is one where the ideas are new to me, it can take at least an hour to read through the paper. I have a folder of papers ‘to read’, and it grows each week. One of the good things about science, albeit time-consuming, is that every point you make you have to back up with ‘evidence’. The time-consuming part comes when you know that the point is valid because you have read it before, but cannot remember where and in what paper the point was evidenced. This means reading through a bunch of papers to find it unless you’re much more organised than me. Normally when I am writing I spend around 50% of the time reading, this is another reason as to why I find writing very tiring.
This is what happens after I type for too long!
Next week I hope to order some chemicals that I need for an experiment, however, I need to speak to the health and safety manager as the chemicals have an explosive tendency… Also next week I am attending a Liquid nitrogen course, so I expect it will be much more interesting!