About this blog

I need to get better at writing, and maybe you can help? Or perhaps you can learn from my triumphs and mistakes!

I am a PhD student in Food and Nutritional Sciences; I have gotten to this stage by largely ignoring writing as a skill. I felt as if my skills in science (maths, physics, etc.) were the most important aspect to improve, so I spent most of my time working on science-related skills. As a consequence my writing skills are very low relative to my other skills, hence this blog.

My idea for this blog is to journal my progress through a Ph.D., as it is probably one of the most interesting things I will ever do. But mostly, it is to practice writing and eventually get good at it.

As I am writing this I have already written several months worth of posts; originally, I was not planning on posting them, but I think that there is no downside to me publishing these posts, as the worst thing that can happen is that I get bad feedback. In this instance, it still helps me improve my writing, so it is win-win as far as I can tell.

As I have previously mentioned, I am several months ahead of this initial post and only plan to release one a week. Because of this, my writing has already improved massively, and I am embarrassed to release some of the earlier posts. However, I believe that the journey is much more important than the end so I will release all my posts un-edited.

I intend to write about more than just my thoughts on being a PhD student such as nutrition, finance, books I’m reading and general thoughts on life. So, if you would like to help me out and provide some feedback, I would greatly appreciate it.

I will remain anonymous for now.

Go here for an example of my first attempt at a blog post and here for the most recent.

If you’re still here maybe we should connect on Twitter!

163 thoughts on “About this blog”

  1. What a great idea and ambition. I really like how you can track your own progress and share it at the same time. And to be fair, your writing is not bad at all! I wish you luck in your studies and career. Keep it going πŸ™‚

    Liked by 10 people

  2. Hi!
    Feedback here πŸ™‚
    1. “I am a PhD student in Food and Nutritional Sciences; I have got to this stage by largely”…”have got” should be “have gotten” to be correct.
    2. “I intend on writing about more than”…”I intend on writing” should be “I intend to write” to be correct.
    3. Great spelling πŸ™‚

    I was a science major myself, although writing was my first passion. I found it to be very common that my fellow science students struggled with the writing part of our education. Science papers can be grueling and complex and BLAND. I enjoyed being able to add good writing that made a science paper flow instead of falling flat and merely cerebral. I thoroughly believe that where I lacked the memorizing and recall skills of my fellow science majors, and the calculating skills in the lab, I made up for with the ability to translate that knowledge into well-crafted synopses, notes, and papers.

    What you are doing is very smart. Writing can be a bridge or a roadblock. What you are doing is deciding that it will be a bridge.

    I look forward to following this your journey and I wish you the very best!! KEEP WRITING!! With practice, any skill improves. Helpful feedback along the way and a receptive attitude will help tremendously.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks for the feedback and sharing your background. I have implemented the changes. I think that in the world of publish or perish having a passion for writing must be a huge advantage.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Hallo you. I’m the worst writer ever. I write straight from my confusion! It’s all about putting it out THERE. Bad writing or not, its about your experience in life. You don’t know how many times, I have to decentralize and re-re-edit! Still haven’t got it WRITE! The Bloggersphere must just deal! I can’t type, can you imagine my trauma?
        Citizen_josh

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Now that is the wonder of the internet…we never know where our readers are. In my blog (and I am truly a beginner) I am always conscious that I write from a very UK centric point of view and I probably have some confused international readers!

        Like

  3. It was science writing – in particular science paper writing – that gave me the writing skills I needed to write radio and TV comedy. In both areas it is vital to say exactly what you mean to, and do to it with economy and precision. In science writing you follow a logical train of thought to explain a result and in the construction of a sketch you do the same thing – with added gags along the way. Both lead to a pay-off though! Good luck with the science – and the writing!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Strange you should mention science. I took a course in research and writing a scientific paper once. We had to come with some esoteric thing we’d seen, research it, and then write a paper on it. One girl in the class tackled the age old phenomena where you can put socks in a dryer and come out with one. She postulated and proved mathematically that the tumbling motions of the dryer coupled with the electrical magnetic effects of the motor (she said it happens more often in electric dryer rather than gas), created a momentary hole in the space time continuum just big enough for a sock to slip through. She then continued by stating someplace, somewhere, there was a universe haunted by lost socks. The entire paper was a joke, but boy it was fun to read. Oddly, she’s the only one in the class that got an “A.”

        Like

  4. Hey, there! I did notice a marked improvement between your first and last blog entries. You have a lot of courage to post older work you’re not necessarily proud of. Also to use your authentic voice. Keep writing, and good luck with your PhD work!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Don’t ever be embarrassed to try…only ever be embarrassed not to!!! Have you tried Grammarly app? That’s good…or the good old fashioned way that my elderly clients tell be about…”doing lines” which is not what it means today….they would sit and write out 10 pages of the English dictionary as punishments. They all say that it was horrible but they know a lot of words and definitions now! πŸ˜‚ X

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome. I am recent master’s graduate and my degree really woke me up when it came to writing. It is something I am purposing to get better at not just professionally but creatively. Good luck with everything. The fact that you are here already shows that you are moving in the right direction.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hello Jake/Louis?
    I think that’s an interesting blog, and quite a humble and positive attitude to be in such a learning mood, it’s rare. If you like poetry and painting too, as a pastime beyond your phd and your other occupations, I invite you to check out our blog.
    Best,
    Erannza

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Love this idea! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ Not only are you improving your own writing skills, but you’re motivating others by example too. Keep it up!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks for noting my ‘Builder” sketch.
    BTW great idea for a blog! In the end I think it is practice in writing that works best. After science A-levels and an engineering degree I finally shook off my fear of writing by working for a while in patent law – needed to write very precise (and long-winded) english in that role! After that my DPhil thesis was a doddle – well at least the writing up bit …

    Liked by 3 people

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    Liked by 1 person

  10. I like the way you present your view. It is straightforward and your writing skill is good πŸ™‚ It is nice looking through the lens of how you view life with the knowledge you have from your study

    Liked by 3 people

  11. It is good enough that you ventured out into working on your writing, you are not the only one, as I am in the same situation. I already see you as my role model.
    Carry on, Bravo!!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. You might consider learning an additional language, because a major benefit of doing so is that you inevitably learn your own language better. Which language to learn? Any will do, but the propaedeutic value of Esperanto is legendary.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Write on! You’ll discover how therapeutic it is as your writing improves. Then you’ll keep writing for the sheer joy you find in doing so. You already have a captive audience, so why not keep it going?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Honestly you encouraged me quite a lot. I am also a international student but I am at first degree. Whenever teachers or classmates mentioned my bad writing skills, I just tried to conform myself and pray I can do better next time. I mean basically you have courage to accept feedbacks, and your progress proved thats a good approach to improve writing skill. Hopefully my writing skills will improve a little bit as well πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I like the idea. Honestly, when I began writing, I wasn’t very good at all ,but like any practice it’s a skill you learn through constant repetition. I truly don’t try to chase perfection because there are just so many ways you can communicate an idea in writing. There is no format I believe, unless your trying to write business plans, and diet plans. That could be a little different, but the whole key is to communicate your idea to where people can understand. I just started blogging and to be honest, I don’t know what I’m doing. But I do know how to write just as you probably know how to formulate a healthy nutrition plan for a person. I liked your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hey Louis, I’m actually starting my blog to gain experience in writing and editing. I was an English major and love anything involving grammar and syntax. If you’d ever like some editing or writing tips feel free to hit me up. Good luck on your PhD!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi
    Nice of you to read my post, it’s probably the worst… but as I wanted a place to rant or just write my thoughts, other than the completely used storage on my laptop (I have been writing for ages but for self to date, so no feedback previously), had this blog post set up. When I get the urge will update with a post, but it’s just for the joy of writing….. not worried about grammar, the world or Queens English…everything being equal…it’s all but flipped…
    Have fun and you will probably find your style and flair….that’s what makes us all unique….go with it, own it…love it!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I think it’s incredible that you’re doing a PhD! I’m someone who did vocational school, tried university (Computer Science) and flunked out. Turns out I’m more of a humanities person, discovered that during night classes. It’s great you’re seeking to improve your writing. πŸ™‚

    Like

  19. Not sure if you should receive an award or something but you are my first “like” on my blog, Thank you, and by the looks of things well done on yours, seems you have come along way in such a small amount of time. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  20. There are various approaches which all seem to devolve to planned writings and ‘flow of consciousness’ writings.

    For technical impact it is widely recommended you plan. You know, lay it out in blocks with the introduction-guts-conclusions formal stuff.

    For myself it’s always the other, FOC.

    I just let the cauldron bubble and see what burbles to the top as babble … and post that. I have no academic qualifications but am widely read; AND open to discussion at any time. (Strangely, I’ve been doing this for quite a few years and have never had a troll.)

    But in the end, if you know what you’re about and get your message across … to hell with the rules*.

    * Once you’ve scored that degree~!

    Like

    1. I have not heard it phrased like that before — FOC. I certianly am a FOC kind of person. It seems good for actually getting ideas onto the page but they may not be the best quality!

      Like

      1. Decide who your market is, and cater to their whims. Their whims, not yours, if you want a sale.

        And the next questions of course, are ‘what constitutes a sale?’ Is it to be a ‘one off’, or are you after repeat business? In a blog we’re lucky, we don’t have to impress anybody unless it’s an earning blogβ€”in which case the Customer is King. (This possibly explains (!) why I don’t get much traffic).
        You cannot please everyone all the time, so I write for me, not for themβ€”and I think most folks don’t relate well to that. You must please your customer if you are to stay in business. (I merely try to get the bugger thinking for himself, sometimes it even works.)

        Like

  21. Hi, yours was the first blog I found and followed when I joined WordPress. Just thought I would let you know that I always enjoy finding an email about a new post of yours and I am always captivated into reading it. Even if it makes me 5 minutes late back to work from lunch! *oops* Don’t worry, I don’t blame you for it. πŸ™‚
    I also enjoy the writing style, and actually look forward to the day I’ve developed my own skills enough to write so well and with a dialogue just like you, instead of my usual rambling.
    #inspiration

    P.s. your PhD sounds really interesting, wish I’d have done it myself.

    Like

      1. Aww, thank you. I am hoping to get my writing more concise and themed around a key idea in the post as you have done. Rather than just rabbiting on about anything and it going no where.
        But I am sure I will get there in the end with practice. Just need to stop my mind drifting onto tangent topics while I write. 😊

        Like

  22. Very courageous to do something that you’re still learning. I have read your posts. Very logical and clear. Keep on going. We know the PHD student: Louis – can you share just “Louis” in a daily life ? I think people would like to know that as well. Something different, Something fresh, Something that connects.

    Like

  23. Hi,
    Thank you for sharing your journey. It is a very brave step to take, one which I have been procrastinating about for ages with regard to my own journey. Good luck in the future.

    Like

  24. You’re not alone, I just started writing myself. I keep messing up but today I’ve learned something from reading your post.
    1. Don’t feel frightened to ask for help.
    2. Learn to get ahead of myself so I don’t trip.
    3. Don’t give up!

    Like

  25. Read significant literature in your language and a couple of other languages. Read literature from different eras. Good literature is popular because it is well-written and expresses interesting themes.

    Obscure literature is obscure because it’s boring and difficult to understand.

    Write in your own personal style, it’s your unique style that will appeal.

    Edit and re-craft your work. PBTB

    Like

  26. Improving one’s writing includes as a vital component improving one’s editing. In that connection, this post (and the associated workbook you can download) may be of interest: https://leisureguy.wordpress.com/2006/11/11/robert-graves-1895-1985/

    I did this, and it helped me quite a bit. But note the warning in the post: don’t try to edit while writing. And I will emphasize that Peter Elbow’s book Writing Without Teachers is quite good.

    Like

  27. Hey Louis,
    Snap! I’m awful at writing, so bad I have to reread everything like 12 times. I tend to ramble. It’s a blessing in social situation but a curse in writing ha ha. Keep going though, I’m interested to see how you get on! Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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