“My fingers,” said Elizabeth, “do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women’s do. They have not the same force or rapidity, and do not produce the same expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault — because I would not take the trouble of practising.
-Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
In my email every week and at every conference or meet up, a fresh faced young scientist will introduce themselves, and say, basically, “I want to be you. How do I get out of science and into science writing?” They ask for my career path.
Then I tell them that I started a blog during graduate school. I tell them that I posted on said blog three times per week (though sometimes two) all the way through my dissertation and postdoc. For five years.
And that’s when about 90% of their faces fall. “Three times a week?” they say. “That’s a lot of work. That’s so much TIME. I don’t have that kind of time.”
I assure them it doesn’t have to be THAT often. That you get faster as you improve. I tell them I want to help. I give them my business card and cheerily tell them to keep in touch and I’d love to chat more about their career goals.
They walk away. I will never see or hear from 99% of them again.