Why do I think, “This time, it will work!”?

2 minute read

I have lots of them rolling around – even a science blog next door that I spent ages conceptualizing, Modern Model Organism. In every one, I had great intentions, and I dreamed of a day where I would master social networking and be one of the cool kids. Alas, my lurker instincts inevitably won out and the blog would die out. Poor MMO.

My science blog was an attempt to do two different things: establish a web presence (all of the cool kids were doing it!!) and talk about some of the interesting things that I learned from day to day. Admittedly the former was more appealing. I also established a Twitter feed for work, and a Friendfeed.

In my day job as a bioinformatician, I spend 8+ hours immersed in science. And I like it! My job is thrilling on the best of days and merely frustrating on the worst of days. I only very rarely hate my work. As a scientist, I get to play around with cool technology with some freedom as to my research direction, my hours, and even my standards of dress. I used to wear jeans every day and got paid for it.

The thing is, although I like my job and I’m pretty good at it (if I say so myself), I don’t love it. My true passions lie elsewhere, and while some of my colleagues read, eat, and breathe science, I need a break from it. And when I take breaks, I do things that should be awfully familiar to any writer. I read whatever I can get my hands on. I read a lot of newspapers, and popular novels, and make an effort to read a classic novel every once in a while.

(I also knit, listen to podcasts, play computer games, and bake sometimes. But I digress).

My first blog was much closer to my heart. I told stories about the things that happened to me. My favorite posts were much closer to stories than to reality. My concerns about privacy started to overwhelm my desire to tell my own stories, so my first blog petered out. I wrote that blog for myself first, and for the rest of the internet second.

A life coach said that whatever you do in your spare time should be what you do for a living. Google is unclear about the origin of the quote, but I think it’s a very valid assessment. I mean, we all spend a little time on ‘junk food’ pastimes, like Facebook or Failbook, but otherwise, what do we do? Some people shop for shoes or follow sports statistics. I like to read the comments on CNET articles. I like to watch J play Mass Effect or Deus Ex so that I can follow the story. And I like to write.

I think I can make this blog work because I’m doing something I like to do. I’m writing. Writing about writing, even. Writing is a lonely discipline, so having a blog will be a good outlet as I push myself to improve. And I have ideas for about 10 posts already. I just need to pace myself, and actually get some writing done at the same time!