sarahkeenihan

Day 192. Half empty, half full

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm

half full

Science365. A post a day about the science in my life for a year. I’m over halfway there!

By way of reflection on the project so far, I have an unexpected fact to share: I deleted my most popular post only a couple of hours after putting it up.

I wrote the piece in a fit of passion after chatting to a girlfriend about a medical issue. I was inspired to write about menstruation, about sex, about miscarriage, about fertility and about female ageing. The idea had been simmering in my mind for a while – about 10 years, actually – and finally I wrote it down. I hit ‘publish’ with nary a moment of consideration. There! Done. Big tick.

It was a mistake. Although it struck an immediate chord with many readers – about 100 views on WordPress, and another 100+ views via Facebook nearly straight away, with lots of supportive comments – I kept thinking about it. I edited it, I gnashed my teeth over it, I edited it again. I removed bits. Finally, I pulled it down.

The crazy thing is, the reasons that made me pull it down are the same reasons that so many people liked it. As discussed at the recent ScienceOnline2013 conference, in particular by Scicurious and Kate Clancy, personal stuff hits a chord.

People were even looking for it:

I liked the blood story but it vanished. Boo! I hope it reappears. It was a lovely piece of writing about a fairly taboo topic. Loving this everyday journey you’re providing.

said one reader.

Another person asked where it had gone, and when I explained he wrote:

I thought it was great. Wanted my wife to read it. Please let me know when new version is up.

But I won’t be reposting it, at least in its current form. It was too revealing, too much of me. Too open.

Despite the angst, it’s been a valuable experience nonetheless in that I’ve learnt a lesson about writing. The good old adage ‘think about your audience’ still holds true. But you’ve got to think about yourself too. It makes sense, but it’s easy to forget when the mad-writing haze hits.

[image thanks to eddale on flickr]

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