I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My Year with Bluestone ... will observe weekends

So while the inspiration for My Year with Bluestone came from the indefatigable Philip Thiel, who blogged every day without fail for each of the six(?) years of his various daily blog projects, I'm working in a different environment, one that has been concerned, almost from its very first post, with the nature of the world of humanities research and the contexts in which it is supported and publicised in Australia.

Over the eight years since then, I've struggled, like most academics, to make sense of our workload, in a context where one's work is never finished. We send essays off; they come back for revisions; and more revisions; and copy-editing (if we're lucky); and proof-reading. Our grants and books go through thousands of iterations. The email in-tray is always full. Our work -- our teaching, supervision, writing, advising, policy-making -- hardly ever reaches moments of final closure.

As I contemplate my return to work on Monday after a few weeks' annual leave (in which I have worked on reducing my email, starting the bluestone blog project and also started reading and thinking about my next essay), I'm thinking that while I may blog on the weekends, as I am doing now, I won't be adding to the bluestone blog archive. Last year I announced I wouldn't be emailing back and forwards in my big research group over the weekends, and restraining the compulsion to blog everyday on the Bluestone is part of the same pattern.

That is, I am trying to order my life a little.  I'm giving myself this year to write the bluestone book, and the blog is already helping immensely in making me realise the things I don't know, and need to think about. Declaring I will write the book this year is a way of giving myself a deadline for it (I will be writing a sample chapter to send to prospective publisher in the next few months), but it's only one of the projects I'm working on this year. And so I am going to pace myself with it, and not kid myself that I can work on all the things, all at once.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Culhane said...

Thanks, Stephanie, for this post - I have ambled past the Elvis memorial many times over the years and have always been curious about how it came to be there! The surrounding grotto certainly gives it a particular feel.. something like eery but monumental 1970s drab/glory.