I truly enjoyed the ability to speak with Melody last night regarding the process of writing her Ph.D. thesis. Although I have never been asked to write an essay of that magnitude, I appreciated the advice and insight she was able to provide in terms of completing such an arduous project. I specifically remember asking her about her writing process, and if she had any specific habits or quirks, as I have a few myself. For starters, in order for me to write successfully, I have to be in my bed, which is where I seemingly always have my deepest thoughts. In addition, I have to be listening to music, specifically anything Eminem from “The Slim Shady LP” to “Recovery”. For some reason, Eminem’s creativity and honesty really inspires me to be able to say exactly what I want to say, however in a much less vulgar manner. Although she doesn’t have a specific place that she likes to write, she went into a detailed explanation of her editing process. Any time she is suffering from writers block, or simply feels lost in her own writing, she takes a break, prints out her essay, and tapes it to the wall. From there, she makes her edits, and is physically able to move pieces of the essay from one place to another, or scrap certain pieces all together. I remember her saying that she likes to be able to physically see the entire piece, because it reminds her that it is, in fact, “bigger than her”. I found that statement really inspiring because it clearly shows that she is extremely passionate about her work. That got me to thinking about a research proposal that I am in the process of writing.
For some reason, I tend to forget that my scientific writing “counts” as writing, because when I think about writing, I tend to think of a writing paper with an intro, thesis, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion analyzing one specific topic. However, the more I think about it, my research proposal is exactly that. I have an intro, thesis (hypothesis), supporting paragraphs (such as procedure, and why the research matters), and a conclusion (expected results). Research is something that I am extremely passionate about, but I don’t think I have ever correlated this passion to the passion that I have for writing. As a biology major, I never thought that I would need to develop my writing skills further than to a basic level, however I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Writing is such an important part of science that ultimately leads to a plethora of scientific advances that would never have been made without these skills. Melody talking about her thesis, and how it is “bigger than her” made me realize that my research writing is much bigger that me on so many levels. I am simply conducting research, and writing about it…but what does that mean? It means that the final product of my writing will be subjected to “The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal”, where it may be published and reviewed by my peers and superiors where it could be further researched. This research, in my case, will ultimately lead to improved clinical treatments and bone fracture prevention in patients suffering from head and neck cancer. The ability to help patients of all ages recover faster, and more efficiently through writing is SO much bigger than me. I guess a 15 page research proposal isn’t necessarily bigger than me, but the implications of that paper is infinitely bigger than me. So, thanks to Melody, I guess it’s about time to break out the scotch tape!