Sunday, September 25, 2011


I started this weather blog so I could train. I am training to write. Training to identify my poor writing habits, to find my voice, and eventually improve my technical writing. This is not a task, it is a process. I recognize my failings as a scientist and the one thing I have struggled with is my writing. So it was not a surprise to find my recent paper submission was rejected. It was rejected because I failed to communicate my points, create proper linkages, and explain what I had done.

What I have continued to struggle with is to treat my writing as a reviewer rather than the author. I have no trouble being a reviewer. I really put forth a sincere effort to do a lot of paper reviews in the hopes I could retrain my brain to take the self reviewer role. Being a reviewer has helped my ability to review, but not to self-review. I have been successful at times in this process, but not consistently so.

My own self analysis of my writing process revealed that I lack the ability to restart my writing. That is, I begin writing early to get into the flow, but then fail to improve that writing. I am a writing hoarder; keeping sentences that are poorly constructed and writing around them to make up for those deficiencies. I really need to start repairing my thoughts rather than working around sentences. I don't have a solution at the moment. I had hoped that outlining and expanding those outlines would help.

In a lot of ways I have not found my voice and find writing and communicating to be one of the hardest activities in science. I am an excellent support scientist but I really need to take the time to communicate better. So I am trying to reject my bad writing and find a way to becoming a much better communicator.