Monday, May 31, 2010

Manuscript progress (or the lack thereof)

Meanwhile, I haven't written a single word yet. Ok, that's not entirely true. I have written some instructions for people in the former lab. And I have written something that, with some imagination, looks like an outline of a grant proposal (eh, yeah, completely unrelated to the manuscript, but still, I did write it). I've also completed some practical work for my manuscript on the side and I've read a paper or two.


One of my professors at my undergrad institution used to say that writing a paper should be easy. By the time you're finishing up data collection, you ought to know what you were doing. It's only a matter of telling the story that's in your head. I wish it was that simple.

I know what I was doing and I know why I did what I did. But somewhere between the time that I started this project and now, other people have been working on the same topic. Some of the new stuff is no longer new and some of what I thought was boring turned out to be exciting. Plus, my recent focus on a related project changed the way I'm thinking about some of the underlying assumptions. This basically means that the motivation for the study is going to be completely different from what I envisioned it to be a couple of years ago.

That's fine, that's science, but it definitely isn't easy!

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