Thursday, October 26, 2006

Publish or Perish

In the academic world, this phrase refers to the need to be publishing articles in Journals to be able to keep one's job as a professor. Grant money often depends on a person's ability to be "productive" in their research and produce concrete results. There is even pressure to not just get "ordinary" results, but something "exciting," causing people to falsify those results to get the money and recognition they need.

To some extent, I feel that way about blogging. I have been doing this for about 6 months now and have had modest success with some regular readers. But if I now have a fear that if I don't continue to put out regular blog entries, I will lose my readers. I find myself obsessing on the numbers of my site meters, hoping to pump them up by some wonderful new post (that is even at the back of my mind on this post).

The funny thing is that I went for 44 years without ever blogging and did just fine. I did not know any of these people I now blog for and still don't know many of them. I have greatly enjoyed doing it and have to some extent become addicted to checking out others' blogs regularly (yes, Dr. A, I am thinking of joining BA). There is no real pressure for me to do this, aside from that which I put on myself. I have a need to entertain others and to be liked in the blogging realm.

I guess it is the "class clown" in me that wants to garner the attention of others. It is not necessarily a bad thing, in that my focus on the response I get out of others is the same thing that lets me be empathetic toward my patients. But it is curious to me how I start to get worried if I have not "published" recently. I would feel a great loss right now if I did not have people reading what I write. I am sure there are many of you who feel the same way.

Is it bad? Not at all. It is just amazing to me how powerful that need to maintain my readership can be. I greatly appreciate those who regularly come by this blog. Thanks for reading my goofy stuff, but also responding when I do this kind of thing. It has been quite nice to rub elbows with people I would have otherwise have not met and who are very much unlike me. The blogging world is a nice community and I am glad I am in it. I will understand if you need breaks from blogging from time to time, and promise to not hold it against you if you need to take a break.