Thursday, 4 August 2016

Blog fail, but life successes

While I doubt there are many regular readers of this blog (not least because there isn't a regular output of posts!) I thought I'd make an update here, to explain the sparsity of content and continue the general narrative.

Essentially, I've not written nearly as often or as much here as I might wish. There are a variety of reasons for this, but it basically comes down to the twin demons of being too busy and falling out of the habit.

It's hard for me to feel too bad about it, because it has indeed been a pretty eventful year or two for me. I finished my PhD and went to a couple of very exciting international conferences. I also got out my first crop of PhD papers*, which were slightly longer in the making than I might have wished, and have been working on a number of other papers since with various labmates.

I've also still been doing the odd bit of writing for BioNews every now and then, and responding to lab and scientific questions, problems and discussions on Reddit (which I think makes for a great discussion platform for scientists, given its large user base and easy interface). This often scratches the itch that blogging does but in a more schedule-friendly (and less inspiration-necessary) manner, so I can see why it might be syphoning off some what's left of my writing enthusiasm after working on whatever the current paper is.

But life is more than work, and I have a number of life events this year that have kept the rest of my free time pretty well booked up. In addition to some of the bigger, more time-consuming life events that exist (including the biggest!) I'm also very happy to report that I've accepted an invitation to go Boston for a post-doc, where I'll be exploring TCR sequences in the context of cancer rather then infection. While I am hugely excited for all of these developments, they take time and effort to happen, and so other pursuits (e.g. blogging) can suffer.

Hopefully, once I've got the next big paper finished and have successfully made it to the other side of the pond, I can start getting the ball rolling here again. Little and often is the plan; I've got a few particular posts in mind, but I think things like a TCRseq publication alert roundup might be a nice place to start. So if you do take something from these posts (and I'm very surprised but happy to find that there are people that claim to!) take heart, as more is definitely on the cards.

*An application of the TCRseq tech we'd worked on during my thesis characterising HIV+ patient repertoires and a review of the history DNA sequencing methods.

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