Musings Vostinar Style

*obligatory Hello World joke*

When I was in graduate school I ran a sci-fi and fantasy book review blog. Why I started a blog is a rather dull story in that I simply thought that this blogging thing sounded like a fun idea in undergrad and figured that reading science fiction and fantasy is the one constant hobby I’ve had all my life, so it would make a good theme for a blog. I then fell down a fascinating rabbit hole of what the book publishing world looks like and how it works, made some great friends, read lots of great books, and got much more comfortable writing down my thoughts than I had been when I finished college.

I credit a large chunk of my relatively easy success with my dissertation to that blogging experiment: I got over the fear of the blank page, I thoroughly practiced arguing my opinion based on evidence, and I expanded my creative capacity. I will probably expand on those second two in future posts, but the first is what has been on my mind lately.

Since I’ve started teaching at Grinnell, I haven’t written much. I’ve written some homeworks and exams. I wrote up an outline of the next step for my closest-to-done paper. And I think that’s it. I knew that continuing the book review blog at this point in my life wasn’t feasible, and it wasn’t something that appealed anymore. But since I announced the closing of that site, I went from writing at least 500 words several times a week to nearly nothing. I’m starting to feel that reluctance to face down the blank page again when it comes to writing grant applications, and that just isn’t going to work.

So I’m taking inspiration from my colleague SamR’s ‘Musings’ and giving myself a place to write a few paragraphs on whatever is on my mind and fit for public consumption. There will be thoughts on being a new professor, being a woman in computer science, being a highly interdisciplinary researcher, living with chronic migraine and depression, raising my new dog, living in a small town, and who knows what else. There will be typos and strange phrasings, and I’m giving myself permission not to worry about them.

It’s probably wise if you don’t keep reading, but when did that ever stop anyone?

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