Epigrammetry anniversary, Part II: All that can go wrong Science Blogging for the 1st time and Hooray to bold ideas
As you’ve already learned in last week’s post we’ve had our first blog anniversary and wanted to make a summary for you of what happened and what topics have moved us over the last year. (check out Astrid’s anniversary post here)
When we first started out, we tought the thematic focus would be a bit different than what it ended up being for the last year. we were hoping to share some super cool cutting-edge thoughts on 3D, photogrammetry and diving for archaeology’s sake. That’s what the description of our to-be blog was. Then reality happened. That’s why I named this post “All that can go wrong science blogging for the first time”.
All that can go wrong science blogging for the first time
We soon realized that we wanted to maybe write a grant proposal for our ideas. That we didn’t really have enough yet to make a paper out of it but also we didn’t want to share it yet. Then we realized that under those circumstances, 75% of what our blog was supposed to be about was not going to happen. My archaeological diving took longer than expected. We had planned a session for May 1st this year which was cancelled now due to corona virus. It will have to be delayed even further. We did some posts on bouldering like we said. We linked how you can gain insights into PhD life wisdom from bouldering.
But mostly I ended up doing book reviews and a big ‘digital minimalism’ project which covered a lot of last year. That seems long ago now and other projects (self-development related) occupy my mind. Mostly, at the moment, that’s Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro and the related philosophy. Which is probably fitting given that I’m entering the final phase of my PhD.
- Other posts I wrote were about sexism in Academia,
- why your outing as a feminist will make you more successful rather than hold you back,
- things to do while on corona virus lockdown,
- destroying the “innate workaholism myth”
- and work-life balance,
- tacking fear of academic failure
- and procrastination in the PhD life.
- I shared some philosophy on finding the one trick that really works for you
- and why I think “Just focus on your PhD” isn’t necessarily great advice.
- And also, don’t check your phone first thing in the morning – find out why in the post!
- I book-reviewed Essentialism (part 1 and 2),
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You,
- Karen Kelsky’s The Professor Is In (top 7 takeaways),
- the Art of Learning,
- Make Time,
- kind-of-reviewed Ultralearning,
- and – even though that’s not a book – reviewed devices for (Linux-based) productivity on the go.
Boulder Gym reviews
And I actually reviewed four bouldering gyms while traveling (not only for work) – they were
- Block’Out Montpellier,
- Monk Amsterdam,
- Fliegerhalle Braunschweig
- and Aloha Sportclub Braunschweig
- and shared wisdom for the PhD life gained from bouldering.
Gosh, I guess we wrote way more posts than I remembered! And also, it’s amazing how far away last year already seems with my fellowship, lots of conference travel and travel on holiday – as opposed to being stuck at home now. But what can you do except look into the future?
Plans for year 2: Experimenting on Data
For the next year, we want to get a little closer again to what we had originally planned on doing. The idea was to start an ‘Experimenting on Data’ series where we share some digital experiments that we did which are interesting so you might be interested but not enough for an actual paper. They’re also not tutorials in the strict sense, more like looking over our shoulders onto our digital workbenches.
We thought that this might actually be one of the perks of science blogging – that you get to share those little experiments which might not have led anywhere, which weren’t enough for an article, yet many of us probably have experiments like that which are still kind of worth sharing. If somebody else can learn from them too, then that would be a good thing for our blog. So we’re hoping to entertain you with those trips to our DH cave over the next year. (Maybe we could also call that series “A day in the life of a DH person” or “A day in the life in the digital lab”…)
And you’ll probably get to see a lot of Astrid easing into her new job and responsibilities and me, well, I might be locked up somewhere writing my thesis (or at least my advisor is probably hoping I am 😉 ). I also vouch to give you a post on archaeological diving or diving overall once we’re allowed to do it again.
Why I chose to adress personal development
I wanted to talk about one other last thing in this post and that is why I chose to adress personal development when we realized we wouldn’t be able to do what we had initially planned.
I don’t clearly remember when I was first introduced to self-help or self-improvement stuff. I think I passively listened to lots of self-improvement tapes in the car with my dad as a child. But probably the most relevant one which has influenced me most was personal development directly related to academia. And, like it tends to happen with me, it came in the form of a crazy idea.
Enter Steve Pavlina
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this old blog post where Steve Pavlina explained a crazy productivtiy project he had done during his Bachelor’s degree. Essentially, he did a whole Computer Science bachelor’s degree in three semesters. While this was not directly relatable to my own academic journey, it did motivate me to take on some crazy projects, along with the encouragement of some equally crazy Classicist friends. (And if you know me, you know how easily I am inclined to take on crazy projects) Because if somebody presents you with a crazy idea – what else could you do than go for it? Some people have suspected that the A. in my middle name stands for “Action” after all… I think that’s fair. But it might stand for Adventure too – because well, what’s life without a few dragons?
Now, looking back, this aforementioned post has influenced me a lot. That’s why I thought sharing some self-help or personal development content on here might be inspiring to someone. If it’s just to handle stress better. Or maybe even to start a crazy project. It all has been done before. You just need to pluck up your courage to go through with it. I have linked the responsible Pavlina posts under Resources below if you want to know more.
Apart from navigating the first few roadblocks in our epigrammetrist journey, I think we have done fairly well. We stuck to our schedule of posting once per week, meaning each contributor posts every two weeks or twice per month. At times, this has been a little much (when one of us was too busy to contribute and the other posted every week) but overall, was quite feasible, given that we didn’t have to post super dense content and long posts every week. We have ended up with 53 posts and counting.
Well, what can I say? This was another one of my crazy ideas, we just did it and it worked out ok. Three cheers for crazy, I guess!