What I want most out of this blog is to make a splash. Normally this means to get a lot of public attention, but what I want is to get my own attention. Collins thesaurus suggests the synonyms: cause a stir, make an impact, cause a sensation, be ostentatious. What I want is to bring those things into my life and my research by blogging.
Consider this photograph. That coffee is demanding attention. It’s exciting and beautiful. It’s leaping free of gravity, creating the ephemeral shape of a splash. Of course, we all know it’s going to make a big mess when it falls down. The coffee isn’t frozen in time, only the photograph is. But does that diminish its loveliness?
There’s that saying about the importance of the journey rather than the destination, and I am feeling that more and more. I don’t want to spend my PhD looking only ahead to the finished product. It’s the process that really matters. The importance of producing a good dissertation isn’t in the document itself. Less than a dozen people will read it – and that’s a generous estimate. I could switch to an entirely different field in a PostDoc, and never think twice about the work I’m doing now. It’s like the spilt coffee – the aftermath of a beautiful splash.
So that’s what I mean when I say “document my research process.”
And that means being braver. Inherent in this process is the fact that my ideas are not fully formed, I don’t have enough information, I don’t understand well enough yet. I will be wrong, often, possibly always. But if I’m too timid to share an idea because it might be wrong, I’ll never get anywhere.