Two Sides of Writing

When I tell other scientists that writing my Master of Science thesis was what I loved most about my Masters experience, they look at me like I am crazy. “Really?!”, they say “Most scientists would rather be in the lab.” 

For me, I had created a writing haven. I was in a 2 room attic apartment in High Park (I called it my treehouse), I had what would now be considered a clunky computer on a bulky IKEA desk on castors in my kitchen, a tiny second-hand coffee pot (constantly brewing) and stacks of papers on every square inch of my kitchen floor and table. Did I mention my masters was on evaluating mutation detection methods of p53 – probably one of the most cited proteins? Yes, it was quite the introduction I was creating for my small research contribution…and I love crafting it. I loved the environment I was in. I loved being in a “room of one’s own”. I was rediscovering my love of writing.

On the other hand, there were parts that were hard – I had heaps of self-doubt, overwhelm and inadequacy coming up for me and I had no idea what to do with it at the time. There is a sense of permanence to writing that forces us to question what we are putting down and make more conscious decisions about what to include or not compared to when we are just discussing it. What if this isn’t the right thing to include? What if it’s not what the data means? What if this is too speculative? What if it’s not big picture enough? What if it’s not contextualized well?

The writing process is like looking in a mirror and seeing all of our self-doubt. Everything that we aren’t sure about about comes out once we write it down. It is there for all to see and question and criticize and evaluate.

When we look at it this way, no wonder we feel like writing is hard.

I finished my Masters thesis and defended it in 2002. I love to tell the story to other scientists who just cannot believe that this was a time that I looked upon fondly. It’s another reminder that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and so are you.

If you feel like writing is hard, I invite you to email me for a discovery call at I am curious to hear more about what’s happening with you and to explore whether the work I do makes sense for you.

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