How do I do this? – 67

PhD Life

Sixty-seven weeks in a row and I still feel as if I don’t know how to do this. What the hell should I write here?

The problem that is incumbent on the blogger is that the format is for relatively small bits of writing to be churned out in relatively short order. Most of us, I imagine, are doing this as a side project and therefore, cannot commit the time required to produce high-quality writing.

Furthermore, if you’re anything like me, you have far too many hobbies and interests that compete for your time. For me, blogging is but one hobby of many; I would say that blogging is approximately 5th on my priorities.

My current method of writing is to sit down in the after-lunch, pre-gym slot and write from the top of my head. I occasionally make notes throughout the week if I have anything I want to include, but that hasn’t happened in a while. I am waiting for that breakthrough where I finally figure out how to write these posts.

Today is the 2nd of February in my timeline, and you will see this in a few months. My plan for the rest of the day is to do a 15k run and then watch the most important rugby match before the world cup. England vs Ireland in the six nations. Come on England!

I have just realised that this is supposed to be a blog about my PhD and I have just been rambling on like a generic lifestyle blogger.

So, at the start of this week, I spent two-days extracting sugars from lyophilised (dried) Rocket. This has become somewhat of a routine measurement, but it does not tell you that much about the quality status of the plant. Generally, after the plant is harvested, metabolism in the plant continues, and sugars are used up for fuel.

By-products from sugar metabolism are used to form various other compounds, such as those involved in defence. As plants cannot defend themselves physically, they often expend a lot of energy doing it chemically – mainly by producing compounds that don’t taste nice to deter predators.

But as I mentioned previously, it is almost useless when assessing the quality of a crop. What it does allow is for comparisons between crops grown during different seasons. Crops that are grown during the summer, generally have more sugar content and are usually of higher quality.

After I had extracted the sugars, I spent the rest of the week dong data-analysis and planning. Unusually, I have found myself in a position where I don’t have any short-term plans. By short-term, I mean to say that I didn’t know what to do with the rest of my week. This is highly unusual for me.

I ended up writing a list of all the events I had coming up, and this included two conferences at the end of the month. Now I have things to focus on and can fill my time. One of the skills I have not yet mastered is the ability to plan for the long term. I have got through life so far, by being what I can only describe as ‘micro-ambitious’. I decide what I want to happen in the next couple of years and try my hardest to achieve that. Most of the time I don’t plan any further than that.

For example, I had no plans as to what I was going to do after my bachelor’s degree. I got offered a job and PhD, neither of which I sought out. I chose the option I liked the idea of the most, and here I am.

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

27 thoughts on “How do I do this? – 67

  1. I absolutely adore how transparent you are in your writing. To be honest, those of us who just literally “go with the flow” with blogging, and to am extent, with life, are some of my favorite people! 😁

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Just write what ever is on your mind. I do…Some of it may not interest others and some of it will. I am always thinking of ways to write to so you are not alone. The reason I follow so many different blogs is to see what others write about and how they live their lives.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks, Louis ! The doctoral process is challenging , I know. When I was writing my dissertation , I had lots of other hobbies as well, including tap dancing in the basement beside the washing machine. Best of luck with your studies !

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Hi !
        I think my dancing skills remained about the same, but I found that it was good to balance heavy mental labour with physical activity. It is a long process, the doctoral process, it requires endless patience, as you know, but the result is so rewarding . I wish you all the best with your research.


  4. I identified with this post a lot (save for the PhD part).

    All of that research stuff you’re doing sounds really interesting. Since this was made/back logged February 2nd it sounds like, I hope the conferences went well!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have published a lot in my life, but have not yet figured out my blog. Is it to make money? Just to write? Do I Facebook it or do memes? At the end of the day, I write to write and the rest follows. (But this is not a smart money making scheme, for sure! I will figure it out right alongside you.)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hi Louis, I can so relate to this post. I’m a novice writer, and have only been blogging for just over a week. I wrote and self published a book in 2016, and now I’m in the middle of writing my second book. I don’t think I will ever finish it, as I seem to have neglected the book, and I’m on here blogging, lol.

    Best wishes


    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have a blog mostly because I feel compelled to write. I do have the goal of gaining followers, although I don’t know if monetizing is really a goal. But I write because I need to write. If it’s a popular post, so much the better.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hello, I had been following your blog but somehow got separated. I “re-followed” you. I enjoy your blogging, and I am glad you are still blogging, and are still moving along with your doctorate. You are good at blogging, but keep your eyes on the prize. I am fumbling around with my own writing and blogging, but there is some progress. Still not sure exactly why I do it. Sometimes it gets in the way of my actual writing, sometimes it helps. It is a way for an old guy to “stay current”. Blogging is pretty low on my list, but I am at a very different stage of life than you are. You seem to have your priorities straight. You are good at what you do. Thanks for blogging, but stay focused on your doctorate.


  9. Just wanted to say hello and to thank you for reading my blog, you have an interesting and informative approach to blogging and your lifestyle, is it hard to maintain focus and energy levels whilst doing so many things?

    I would have loved to have been educated in such a way, loved boxing and was a 200m runner as a teen.

    Thanks again.


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