Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Testing... testing...?

(Just an introductory post here, in case anybody's listening.)

I never thought I'd start a blog. "Who blogs?", I thought. "Who on earth could be so self-important as to think other people would care about the minutiae of his or her life?!? Hrmph. You'll never catch me doing anything like that."

Just goes to show: if you want the gods to laugh, make a plan.

I've just finished my fourth year in a tenure-track job in the Humanities. I was one of the fortunate few who was able to land a tenure-track job the same month I defended my dissertation. For eight years of graduate school, those were my two goals: Finish the dissertation. Get a job. I never thought beyond that.

Now, here I sit at the end of year four, realizing that I have two new goals: Turn the dissertation into a book. Keep the job. And here I've been fortunate again: I've been awarded a couple of very nice fellowships which will allow me to take a year off of teaching and work on finishing the book. But I'm a chronic procrastinator. Hence, the blog.

You might think: "Getting a blog is the absolute WORST thing she could do! She will procrastinate! She will write posts when she should be writing her chapters!" Possibly. But also, just possibly, a bit of daily accountability will do me some good. So here's the deal; here's my contract with my (as of yet largely imaginary) readers:

1. I will try to post something every day. Topics are likely to have to do with my academic life. Sometimes, this will simply be something dull, such as "Today I read article X, which may be useful for helping me with chapter Y", or "Today I wrote 426 words." I may also talk about personal issues (for example, I'm in physical therapy right now, and I do a bit of whining about it). I will endeavor not to use this blog as a place to air dirty laundry, mainly because it's just not classy. But I make no promises about any of this.

2. If you are an academic, and want to exchange words of encouragement about the writing process, I will welcome yours, and try to reciprocate with my own.

3. I will try respond to comments (from everyone, not just other academic geeks) on a semi-regular basis. Spam and obnoxious comments will be deleted. I don't want to buy your product. I don't want to see pictures of your (or anyone else's) body parts. I don't need cheap pharmaceuticals. (At least, not yet. Ask me again after I've spent six months wrestling with the manuscript. I might be in the market for some Xanax at that point.)

4. If the blog begins to keep me from doing the actual work that it was created to motivate, the blog goes.

Thank you for your visit. Please help yourself to the candy dish.


Not Nurse Ratched said...

Welcome to the blogosphere. :)

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Thank you, Chimpy. You are my first guest. Extra candy for you.

hilary said...

Yay new blog!
I like your Nancy Drew-ish profile picture.
Good luck with your balancing act. I look forward to reading about your adventures, Girl Scholar!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I look forward to reading about your book-writing exploits - I find such things inspiring! (Yeah, so it's a selfish reason for reading...)

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Welcome, Hil and NK! Thanks for stopping by. This picture actually is Nancy Drew. That's me: just another academic, looking for clues. Or maybe, trying to get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Also an academic, also pushing super-hard on the book next year, bookmarking your blog for virtual encouragement.

I love the idea of using the blog for daily accountability and will try to transfer that to my own, relatively new, not-so-well-developed blog.

Seen the commercials for the coming Nancy Drew movie?

Anonymous said...

PS. There were a bunch of links on Dissertation to Book, which I collected here. You've probably read them already, but just in case.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Dance -- thanks for stopping in! Great blog, btw, and I bookmarked the links to the "getting it published" post. I'll link up in a post of mine in the near future, and be sure to include you in the blogroll, if I ever get around to making one.

medieval woman said...

How exciting! Welcome to the blogosphere and congrats again on the fellowships and book writing...