But then Hannah went and wrote a post about it and that post gave me confidence. I might be just a recently-graduated student with limited experience of both science and science writing, but can still write. I can't write about facultys, tenure-track, post-doc-ness, or give much breadth of experience to my topics, but what I can bring, and what I hope I always will bring is a huge amount of occasionally overwhelming enthusiasm for the bacteria I love finding out about.
What's possibly a benefit to that is that I'm always starting from the point of view that I'm probably wrong. Any comments that ask pertinent questions about what I've written have me scuttling back to the literature. This blog has helped me learn, and helped me discover a new things and most importantly has kept my learning broad. I've just graduated, which means if I go on to do a PhD I will continually be narrowing down my field of vision directed towards whatever I happen to be studying. Even during my degree it was starting to happen, and yet by keeping this blog open I can learn about things like modelling virotherapy for cancer and how plants respond to iron stress despite the fact that it's not really a part of my course. It's all interesting, and I want to keep finding out about it.
As well as giving me confidence with her post Hannah also tagged me for the bloggers with substance meme:
1. Sum up your blogging motivation, philosophy and experience in exactly 10 words.
I can do that in two words: I write.
Ten words: I cannot find a way to stop myself writing. Refrigerator.
I write. I have always written. I have whole files full of masses of paper that I scribbled bad sci-fi stories on when I was ten. Any computer I've ever used will have a folder marked "non-fiction" that is usually more crammed full of things than any other folder. I have bits of fantasy story and fanfic scribbled in the margins of my lecture notes. Every time I go on holiday I usually bring some blank paper and a pen with me, rather than (or as well as) a book to read. My A-level chemistry notes have Star Wars essays covering them and I swear I used to have a school shirt with random phrases from a Harry Potter fanfiction scribbled on the cuff.
I can't ever imagine not writing.
Somewhere around second year university I decided that I should probably channel this force for good and, after finding Ed Yong's blog and realizing that it was possible to write about science online, I started writing about science. It seemed to work well, and it's been working better and better ever since. I have bloggy friends now, and a bloggy community. I tweet stuff. The writing has become something great, and I still very much enjoy doing it.
Yes that was slightly more than ten words. This is a blog-post, not a tweet.
2. Pass it on to 10 other bloggers with substance
I think everyone I'd want to pass it onto has already been tagged, but here's ten bloggers that I enjoy reading and most of whom I'm blog-friends with anyway:
Skeptic Wonder - The Protist Person
Lucas Brouwers - who blogs at Thoughtonomics about all sort of interesting stuff
C6-H12-O2 - a blogger I found recently who writes lots of nice mol-bio articles
Angry by Choice - who won me over by writing a post about a fungi that devours worms by making little traps for them
Schooner of Science - the pirate science blogger!
Disease of the Week - A bacteriologist, a virologist, and a lot of diseases (and currently a poll...)
Oscillator - for synthetic biology goodies
Dr Isis - for all the wonderful advice on science, motherhood and other things that I might end up doing in the future
Games with Words - who makes very good points that I sometimes disagree with
(I would have added Culturing Science to the list as well, but she tagged me so I'm not sure it counts...)
That's probably the most linked post I've ever made, and also probably more information than anyone really wanted to know about me. I am a science student who likes writing, and this blog is where it all comes together as one.