I decided to write my answer to today’s Reverb12 prompt before dinner, so that I am not still awake at 1am thinking about it, unlike last night. That didn’t quite work out, but I’m still not writing this in the early hours, so it’s a win.
Name three excuses — stories you tell yourself that are holding you back — that you are going to let go of in 2013.
2) “This person knows a lot more than me about the subject on which they’re lecturing, so any comments or questions I have will sound really stupid” – also known as Why I Am Quiet At Conferences. I can come up with good suggestions and useful recommendations, but I never feel that they are quite good enough. On the few occasions when I have managed to get myself to speak to someone who has just given a conference paper, it has been an enjoyable and interesting discussion.
3) “I’m too old to take on a PhD” – People have told me that one should only do a PhD if it is absolutely necessary to one’s career. I have no intention of becoming an academic lecturer (see points 1 and 2 above as some of the reasons why this is so). On the other hand, I want to work in rare books librarianship. The curators of some of my favourite collections do have a doctorate, and in discussions have recommended that a PhD could open the right doors for me. In the current economic climate, I am even less sure that it is the best path to take. But realistically, I’m not too old. Realistically, nobody is ever too old, I would think, if they’re researching and writing something that they really enjoy.
Reading back over my three statements above, I need to learn how to engage in a more positive and fruitful way with the academic community.