I don’t like to disappoint my readers, but I feel it is time for a break from blogging.
The reason is simple. I need to get a lot of papers written by the end of the year, and I lack the time to a decent job on the blog. Recently, I was doing OK. A blog post every day or so during the week, readership higher then ever, referenced by the BBC, misrepresented by the Australian.
Sadly, I can no longer keep this going. I’m too busy. Currently I’m working on a project here in Glasgow, ecosystem modelling and fisheries. Interesting stuff, which I would blog about if I imagined more people than my office mate would read it. This project runs until the end of the year, and I have no idea where I will be after that. Doing theoretical ecology or energy systems modelling I expect, and perhaps in another country.
But as an early career researcher I need papers. Publish or perish, as the cliché goes. Time spent regaling you about the intermittency of wind farms or the unreliability of Chinese energy statistics is time not spent written papers. There are about half a dozen that could, and should, be written in the coming months. This will not done if I blog every day.
I am also beginning to tire of the whole business of blogging. Often it feels as if the only way I can pull in big reading numbers is to repeat myself, which I hate doing. Last week, a post I wrote on German renewable energy being 3.3% of energy supply got shared 2,800 times on Facebook. For whatever reason this irked me. Correcting popular misconceptions is necessary, but tiring. Posts I write that simply aim to inform, well, they don’t get three thousand shares on Facebook. They normally don’t even get one share.
The one or two hours a day I spend on this blog will therefore now be dedicated to writing papers. As Vaclav Smil said, “Hemingway knew the secret. You get up and, first thing in the morning, you do your 500 words. Do it every day and you’ve got a book in eight or nine months”. It’s time for me to do my 500 words a day.
So, the blog will close, and it will close at the end of this week. It will re-open (possibly) in the New Year. I have a bunch of nearly complete blog posts. Some of it half readable and three quarters informative. They will be your last meal before the fast.