sarahkeenihan

Day 349. In the beginning

In July 2013 on July 26, 2013 at 11:26 am

b8shirt

In early August 2012 I had announced myself to be a freelance science writer.

Funnily enough, I wasn’t actually doing a hell of a lot of writing. I knew this had to change.

Soul searching, brainstorming, self analysis, whinging and whining….then, I had a lightbulb moment.

This email trail between myself and friends/mentors Kristin Alford and James Hutson records what happened.

From me:

Hi Kristin and James,

So I had an idea. It’s now turned into this.

Am I crazy! Is this dumb? OPINIONS WANTED

Thanks 🙂

Sarah

From James:

I like it.

Internet darling Jonathon Coulton did Thing a Week and went from programmer to full-time musician on strength of it, so I love projects like this.

(But you could/should occasionally force friends to guest post so you can have break or get flu or similar – though that said, flu would be interesting science).

I’d also post to website as well as Facebook.

From Kristin:

I also approve. Not stupid or dumb, and could turn out to be a good reference or even a book, like a Mrs Beeton’s for science in everyday life.

Unsolicited advice: You may even be able to automatically post between wordpress/Facebook or view the Facebook entries on wordpress to save double posting.

And follow Prakky’s advice in terms of setting up a plan now so that you have ideas in advance. I’d write up a calendar and post ideas that tie in with the rhythm of the year – holidays, seasons, etc as well as covering chemistry/biology/physics/earth sciences/others so that you appeal to wide range of audiences.

Great, great advice.

As a result, the original idea of just creating a ScienceforLife.365 Facebook page was expanded to include this wordpress site. This offered a degree of safety in case Facebook suddenly collapsed, or changed terms of use changed with little warning. It also gave me the opportunity to present the posts to two (mostly) separate audiences: wordpress readers are generally attracted through twitter and the wordpress notification system. Facebook readers are my friends and family, and connections which have formed through those networks. I’ve loved having such a diversity of readers and associated feedback through these two platforms.

From the outset, I created a calendar to map out ideas for a whole year of blogging. This was most valuable for preparing posts such as the ScienceforLife.365 12 Days of Christmas, Easter, Melbourne Cup and Chinese New Year to name a few.

Although I have pulled in the occasional guest blogger, the vast majority of the writing was performed by me. But I did cut myself some slack as required. On days where I was unwell, had a sick child or other commitments, I posted photographs or brief ideas, or delayed blogging for a day and posted twice the next day. Topics have been extremely diverse, although I must admit to tending towards the biological science, and steering away from physics.

Thanks Kristin and James, for your past and ongoing support.

[image of me wearing a Bridge8 T shirt, logo designed by James and taken from the Critical Thinking series of animations]

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