I know, I know! I’m so behind. And I know I’ve missed the deadline for Doug’s round-up, but if I start a thing (the carnival), I will finish it… even if it’s horrifically late and very old news.
There are soooo many angles I could tackle this question from, but I’m going to be hugely self indulgent, and talk about my own personal favourites.
The automatic response would, of course, be ‘Free Archaeology!’. But, I don’t think it is my favourite post, in terms of it’s content. I’m very proud to have been part of such a great discussion and a topic that have made such an impact on the online world of archaeology, and the subject is still a very important one for me. But it’s not a subject that makes me feel cheerful, per se.
My absolute favourite post so far is ‘Why archaeology needs game developers and other nerds’. It was probably the first time I expressed the thinkity thoughts that led to the realisation of the main research aims in my Master’s dissertation. The thoughts that I express in this post are also linked to those of my second favourite, in which I ask ‘are archaeologists afraid of their imaginations?‘. The issues that I deal with in these two posts, and of course, in my dissertation are still the ones that plague me… I’m absolutely positive that there’s a PhD in there somewhere…
I shan’t be as specific about my worse posts, but I am quite happy to express the opinion that my blog entries have become better over time. The first few were firmly guided by specific subjects of discussion, but after that there are a few in which I say nothing of any use, interest, or importance to anyone. Not even myself. I’ve left them there because I see them as an important part of the development of this blog, but boy are they useless.
I just found this post in my drafts. DAMNIT. All this time I thought it had been published. Still, better late than never…
So here I am again, contributing to this awesome blogging carnival. As I am sure everyone knows by now (there’s been a month’s worth of posts on this theme) the topic is as above. So here’s my take on the thing…
I suppose some of this comes in from the previous set of questions – my reasons for blogging archaeology are the same as the reasons that blogging archaeology is good! But I think probably the most positive thing that has come of my blogging in archaeology is the huge amount of support that’s available out there for anyone who wants to blog on any subject. No matter what your pet peeve is, there’s gonna be someone out there who agrees, is suffering the same fate as you are, someone who’s come out of the other end and although they’re fine now, they know exactly how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking. I’ve done a lot of moaning (here and on Twitter) about how difficult it is to be a post grad student, freshly spat out from the education system, weighed down by horrible debt and even worse employment prospects. Only because of the people who’ve said, ‘hey! Don’t worry man, I’m in exactly the same position. We can do it!’, have I not lost it all together.
I don’t think I’ve invested enough time in blogging to properly get down to the nitty gritty, negative side that blogging obviously has. The only disappointment that I’ve experienced with blogging is my own frustrating lack of inspiration at times. I understand the importance of regularity when blogging, but have often found myself sitting down to post and finding that my brain is completely and utterly empty, even when it certainly doesn’t FEEL empty.
Very often I feel like I can’t express the opinions I would so dearly love to express because the opinions themselves might be ugly. I never want to offend anyone when I’m blogging, and I struggle with the feeling that I have to censor myself. I’m sure we’ve all heard horror stories about people losing job opportunities (or worse, jobs they already have!) because of opinions they’ve expressed on social media platforms. I do sometimes worry that with this blog, I’ve slightly shot myself in the foot. Despite all the brilliant, positive discussion that the Free Archaeology post prompted, I often wonder whether mentioning it to future employers is a good idea. What if they think I’m afraid of hard work, or think I see myself as superior… above the norm of doing voluntary work before gaining employment. Of course I don’t and I’ve explained elsewhere that currently I simply can’t afford to do any kind of free work. I am sure that were I financially equipped to do the thing I loved for free then I would do, especially if it increased my chances of happy employment. But I am digressing into another discussion. Perhaps it is time to end this post.