My personal website was a static entity for several years, mainly showcasing my curriculum vitae and the business services I wanted to provide. In the past few months, a miscommunication with my web host prompted me to completely redo my personal site. Having to start fresh is annoying, but it is also a chance to try something new.
Eons ago when I was in college, I had a couple of different blogs that I worked on in my spare time. I had two Tumblr blogs that I posted to and I also wrote a food blog called the Femme Fatale Food Blog with my friends Ali, Kim, and Dani. At some point–possibly fueled by the burnout of my PhD studies–I stopped posting stuff online and decided to save my energies for the future greatness that I would one day publish.
Being in a PhD program gave me crippling anxiety surrounding reading and writing, so I pretty much stopped doing those things unless I had a deadline–and that’s pretty awful considering that the reason I went into a PhD program in the first place because I enjoyed reading and writing (and teaching, of course). For what it’s worth, impostor syndrome is a real thing.
When I graduated with my PhD in 2016, I went ahead and created a pet project I’d been stewing over for about a year, a cheese blog that I decided to call The PhCheese blog. Writing there has been a pleasure, but it has also been another outlet where that writer’s anxiety comes out to haunt me. Just as when I was in grad school, I agonize over each post, hoping that what I’m writing means something and that it matters–that it’s something worth writing.
One of my cheese friends told me a while back that we shouldn’t write our cheese blogs for an assumed audience, that we should write them for ourselves. And while that sounds contrary to the conventional wisdom that you must always cater to your audience, it’s actually smart to consider that when you write, you are also your audience.
My friend Tailor recently started a blog, and she has in essence inspired me to do the same. Not to write grandiose things that everyone will think are great, to impress anyone, or to really stand out–but to write for myself, because I want to, and heck, why not.
So in the spirit of writing for the sake of so doing, here goes.