Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An Introduction, and an Excuse

By way of introduction, let me offer an excuse.

Way back in August, I started coursework in a history Ph.D. program. As part of my switch back to the life of a student, I thought it might be useful to start a blog where I could share interesting facts and stories that I came across in the course of my research. I hoped this would serve a dual purpose. First and foremost, it would help me resharpen the writing skills I had allowed to dull somewhat in the years since I finished undergraduate work. Writing a few entries a week would get me back into the swing of things, writing-wise (I thought).

Second, crafting entries for this project would help me sort through the massive amounts of data I had accumulated in years of personal historical research, and actually produce something useful with the all information I've been hoarding. A blog would be a useful forum not only to help me make ideas concrete, but also as a neat outlet for those items I found that didn't end up part of a paper/article/dissertation (I thought).

Needless to say, none of that happened. School "got in the way." But I've hung onto the idea, and I continue to think it a good one. Now, as the semester draws to a close, I hope that I might have more time to devote to it (I think).

That brings us to right now. I'm taking a quick break from frantically trying to finish papers for the semester to put these thoughts down on paper. Here's my thinking: if I post this handy introduction, it will motivate me to keep working on this project over the winter break. And if I can get into a habit of blogging, with a bunch of entries under my belt, well then I shouldn't have any excuse to let this blog lapse next semester, should I? (I think.)

In the next post, I will lay out some of the goals I have in mind for this project.