A white page at the horizon

I think this is one of the most scary and most exciting moment for any writer.


The white page is always full of promises, waiting for all the ideas bubbling in ones head to settle on it. With time, everything gets shuffled, played with, re-arranged, perfected, polished, until the very final end point. It’s like a dish you cook, the ingredients -the first words- always remain there, but are transformed in something tasty, appealing, exciting imprinted in your mind.

Even scientific writing, with codes form yesteryear still dictating its rules, has space for style and creativity.

We all know scientists writing papers in the most boring, funny, stylish, twisted, insidious, clumsy, subtle, elegant, dense or impish. I could recognize some scientists I am used to read in my field by their writing style. And no, I am not dropping name.

I am a few days away from starting to write my very own, first, real, scientific article. I feel incredibly excited, but also apprehensive about it. It’s incredible how a few pages can take you months of work. How one figure will take a night without sleep to be perfect. How much energy you need in the last 100 meters.

For the moment, I am building things up in my head. I generally need some days to marinate and “stretch the elastic band” before releasing it and kick off. Next week I start. Well, I wrote it, there is no going back anymore 🙂


PI Quotes – 4 “Writing is very hard work”

New PI quote today, and this one comes from my nowadays PI ! It’s still related to the writing process I talked about in my previous post. As I said, I had never written a real scientific article (when you’re 24 I think it’s still OK to say that); and started with a review a few months ago. It got published over summer.

After I wrote the first draft, I gave it to my supervisor and he sent me back a tracked changed version. Among other things, he wrote :

“Please do remember that writing is very hard work, and a lot of rewriting, deleting, until you are fully fed up with it….
Nevertheless, we are getting there.”

At that point I was so psyched about getting to write a review that I thought it was crazy and impossible to be fully fed up with it.At the end of the submitting/revision/rewriting process, I knew what he meant. So for those of you who are newbies in writing (like me), be aware ! You’ll notice that I also have the nicest and most supportive supervisor ever, since he added the comforting “we are getting there” to reduce the shock when seeing all the track changes he made …


Have a great week-end …