What the h*** am I doing?

I’m still asking myself this question.

There are so many negative voices in my head, telling me that this blogging is just another one of your silly ideas. You don’t have the time, the energy, or the talent to do this. It won’t gain traction. There are far better blogs out there from people who are more qualified than you are. You’ll just make yourself look stupid in front of others. You have NEVER been a talented writer, average at best. You’ll probably quit soon.

So what the h*** am I doing? Why did I start a blog? And why am I STILL writing?

I have long felt that graduate students do not take writing very seriously, which in my opinion is paramount to success in academia. And I find this to be a hilarious but devastating oxymoron, as graduate students are ultimately judged by the quality of their publications, but even experienced students often lack the practice and guidance required to produce high-quality writing. I am not an exception, as I continue to struggle even with the strong support from my research advisor.

But, I was fortunate to be a part of a seminar led by Dr. Joshua Schimel, who came to coach graduate students on writing science. During the seminar, Dr. Schimel briefly mentioned his blogs, and I remember thinking that this was exactly the catalyst I needed to improve my writing! And maybe it can also inform others about the exciting science that we do!

So the answer to the question is this: it’s my selfish desire to use blogging as as an excuse to do something different in my life, in order to improve my writing and shamelessly spread science.

But who will be my audience? Who is actually going to care and spend the time reading my blogs?

It may be the prospective students who are beginning a long journey in education and science, either in undergraduate or graduate levels. Maybe they want to know what factors influenced my decision to become a chemist and pursue a Ph.D. It may be those wondering what it’s like to be a research assistant, working in a laboratory for 4-5 years to contribute to a new knowledge to science and our world in general. Or it may be those who want to know how crazy I am, spending years of hard work making less than $20,000 per year as a graduate student when I could be making 3 times that working in the industry. But to be honest with you, I don’t have a clear answer for this one. I have a feeling that this is one of those things that I will slowly come to realize.

But while fulfilling my selfish desire to do something new and improve my writing, I hope that there are few out there who may find this to be somehow useful to them. And thinking about that, I am already excited to contemplate on my next blog entry.

Are there any specific subject/writing that you would like to see? Comment/like below!