Before setting up this blog I did a bit of reading about blogging and blogs and one of the recurring ideas is that a blog should have an identity, something that sets it apart from others and makes a stamp. This is so that anyone with similar interests can find your blog and follow your posts, and (hopefully) make some comments so that there is a dialogue, a community of people who share a common interest – anything from photography and film to politics or porn (note how I used ‘or’, porn, not ‘and’, porn – but I had to think about it).
This actually makes sense – not everyone who pops in for a chat about Twin Peaks is going to want to stay to read about procrastination techniques or cultural theory. And so my intention was to have this ‘super-blog’ here with mainly research and writing reflection and a bunch of sub-blogs that have my other interests: film, TV, photography, teaching. I tried doing this, I currently have 7 or 8 sub-blogs (I am too scared to delete them because finding a name that isn’t already taken at WordPress is time consuming work and there are notices everywhere warning me that any said deletion of a site ‘cannot be undone’ and renders that site forever in the ether). So I am babysitting a few WordPress names, maybe I will get it together (or rather make the separation) and run each blog for those who only want to see posts about one subject rather than the rather spotty mix that currently exists.
But, I like it like this for the moment – it’s a real reflection of my thinking, doing and practice rather than a sculpted, polished and targeted entit . I read, write, research and VIEW. Sometimes these things overlap and inform each other but often they are compartmentalised but I don’t see how it is possible to research in Cultural Studies – my academic drug of choice – looking at representational practices and film and tv theory without it informing my media consumption. So, I am breaking a few blog rules, written by those far more informed on such matters. The result is a mix of stuff and that is ok.
Mainly, this blog is a record of my journey back into research and academia. Many of the posts are clustered around the worries and fears that plague most PhD students; procrastination, time-management, the virtues of sticky notes. But for me, this journey is also bringing up old demons because my exit from academia was fraught with personal and professional problems that have impacted upon my life and my psyche for the past 6 years. It is a journey that I feel I have to do, and one that is mired in doubt and worry. The last time — my burnout was so profound that it has taken me 6 years to face it head on and tackle it.
This time I will finish the degree, I will succeed in finding work that allows me to utilise my strengths rather than send me spiralling into bankruptcy and homelessness – it could go either way. Leaving a well-paid full time job for part-time adjuncting or sessional work seems crazy at best — but what it life without a little crazy right? This is going to happen but it’s going to happen with more than a few bumps … I just hope I am up for the ride.