Why Am I Doing This, Again?
Today marks the fourth anniversary of this humble little website. I've spent countless hours writing, designing, arguing, and thinking about the things that I publish here. What others may consider a waste of time has helped me tremendously to make new connections, meet new people, refine my thinking, and broaden my horizons. If you're not running a website (or blog), you're really losing out.
Looks like I've already given away the conclusion there. Oops.
But seriously, I don't get it. Isn't publishing the natural state of every researcher? Isn't teaching in our genes? Doesn't the need to explore and find out keep you up at night?
And then, there's the visualization part. Think about how hard blogging about math or philosophy must be. There's so much the audience needs to know to even appreciate why you're discussing whatever you feel needs to be discussed.
Visualization is easy. If all else fails, you can always just look at the pictures. And from there, you can start reading the text in between, start getting more, and get deeper into it. It doesn't get much easier than that.
So what, exactly, are you afraid of? That you might run out of ideas? If you don't have enough material to write a posting every day, you're not paying attention. You might not have the time, but you will have the ideas.
So what else? Telling people about what you're thinking about and getting scooped? You know what they say about having to ram ideas down people's throats if they're any good, right? And if you're so easily scooped, perhaps you need some more challenging stuff to work on.
The point of this exercise is reflection. Thinking things through to write about them really helps to structure your thoughts. It's also a great tool for coming up with new ideas, and finding connections with others you might not have otherwise thought about.
Don't just sit in your ivory tower. Get out and take a walk every once in a while. Blog.