NOTICE: Posting schedule is irregular. I hope to get back to a regular schedule as the day-job allows.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The unfortunate truth... [Full link to blog for email clients.][FT:C44]

Well, this is something I hoped not to have to do.

No, I am not stopping this blog, but I need to adopt an irregular update schedule - in fact, it should be fairly obvious that I already have.

There is an unfortunate truth about blogging... if you do it right, it's a job.  The unfortunate part is that it is quite often a second, third or fourth job on top of other duties.  I started this blog as a way to talk about Science and provide structure and feedback for writing The Lab Rats' Guide to the Brain.  It has been successful.  I appreciate the readers and great questions.  They have assisted me in writing and refining what I have written for the Guide.

However, I do have a day job.  As medical school research-and-teaching faculty, my employer figures that it is a 55-60 hr/week job.  That includes time at home working on writing up scientific results and set-up for teaching lectures.  Reviewing scientific manuscripts, and grants, and writing my own grant applications is extra.  Preparing teaching materials (for those of us with more than 80% research commitment) is extra.  Committee work (essential for promotion) is extra.  Putting in the additional effort to be promoted... is extra.

So the Day Job is job number one.  The ancillary teaching, reviews and extra work that will assist in my promotion and tenure prospects next year is Job 1.5.  Family is Job 2, my fiction writing has been Job 3 and I had hoped that the blog would fit in nicely as Job 4. 

It hasn't worked that way.  I tried an every-other-day schedule and a three-nights-a-week schedule, and this Blog became Job 2, and nearly Job 1.5.  I suppose I write too much in each blog, it takes me 1-2 hrs for each Guide post because I am researching details, searching out illustrations (public domain if possible) and comparing results with existing websites.  There have been times I could take an hour out of the day job and write part or all of a blog - usually while eating lunch or waiting on a computerized analysis to complete - but those opportunities have become fewer and further apart. 

But the most unfortunate truth of blogging is the effect on creativity.  I have written before about the fact that I can write science or I can write fiction, but cannot intermingle the two.  I have to clear my head of the professional work in order to write the recreational stuff.  The Guide has been beneficial, in that it *is* science, and I do not have to completely shift gears from my work in order to write.

But it has nevertheless impaired my writing ability.  I have three writing commitments due this fall, and have not been able to work on any of them in three months.  I must make time to complete the projects... at a time when I find myself having to do more grant and manuscript writing at work.  "Something's gotta give," and I am afraid that it is regular blog posts.

I will still continue to blog.  I will post the final sections of the Guide, comment on new and interesting Science, and continue to answer questions.

I appreciate all of my followers and occasional readers, and encourage you to sign up to follow this blog either via Blogger or Facebook (NetworkedBlogs).  I will continue to email the blog to Sarah's Diner in Baen's Bar, whatever form that forum eventually takes.  Sign up, and you will be notified or emailed the blog when it posts. 

Again, I am not discontinuing, just moving to a less regular posting schedule.  I will continue blogs at least weekly, and will try to continue Monday Funnies as long as I have material.

Thanks for your understanding...

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