Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Writers on the storm

Clearly, writing is an important part of science. I get this, but holy shit people, I can't believe the amount of writing that is in store for me.

First of all, I just started another manuscript from my dissertation. The last piece of data from my collaborators finally arrived and my grad. advisor is raring to get started on this paper, as am I. Fortunately, I have a decent rough draft of the results and materials and methods sections.

In my current lab, it looks like yet another first author paper is on the horizon. Initially, I thought that this data would add to another existing manuscript, resulting in a quick second-author publication. However, my results are starting to take over and Magnum, PI is leaning heavily toward changing the direction of the paper. I am likely to get the first author slot. Of course, this means I write the paper (as it should).

In addition to the paper, I am about to embark on my first grant-writing extravaganza. I am very excited about this and I am looking forward to getting all my ideas together. Even if I don't get funding, the process of writing the grant or fellowship is good experience and has the added bonus of forcing me to think about my project more thoroughly than I do on a day-to-day basis. But...the amount of time, effort and writing is certainly daunting considering everything else that is on my plate.

As of this morning, I felt ready for the challenge and confident that I could find enough hours in the day to write two first author manuscripts, a grant/fellowship and continue to churn out data. By the end of the day, those feelings were starting to disappear because Magnum, PI informed me that he wants me to write a review and soon.
This seems like a shit-ton of writing. Sure, it's not all starting on the same day, but based on my calculations, there is going to be some serious overlap.

Now, I am not quite sure how I am going to get all of this done and bust ass in the lab. Failure isn't an option, so I need to get organized and I need to get a plan. Unfortunately, all my thoughts right now contain multiple expletives and whining about how I hate organizing and planning.

I know, I know. Quite your damn complaining and get your shit together.


ScientistMother said...

Meh, you're allowed one day/evening of bitching and whining. Tomorrow you get organized!

Thomas Joseph said...

It is, of course, a nice problem to have. However you will, of course, need to prioritize. I had this with my post-doc, and alas, what happened is that the work out of my dissertation wasn't written up until AFTER I finished all my post-doc obligations.

tideliar said...

Wow! Don't over stretch. Be confident of informing Magnum, PI that your plate is full. if he wants to start the review, fine, but you need the manuscripts over the review.

A friend of mine is going through this now and is very stressed because she can't say no...

microbiologist xx said...

SM - Thanks!

TJ - Yes, as problems go, this is a good one. It makes since to put the grad paper on hold, Magnum, PI is paying my salary after all. I'd kind of like to put the review on the back burner, but that's mostly just because i don't want to write the review.

tideliar - Thanks for the advice. I am a pretty upfront person and I don't have a problem telling someone no. You are completely right though. You can really dig yourself a hole, and fast, when you aren't up front. For now, I am thinking I will just start with what is most pressing and see how things go. When it starts getting out of hand, and it will, I will have a little talk with the PI. At least that's what sounds like a good plan today. :)