Recently, I’ve begun talking about my blogging more and more with my colleagues and coworkers here at Cornell. Those who have stopped by and read my blog have been quite vocal in their compliments. It’s been a real “pat on the back.” One member of my research group goes so far as to say that he never would have guessed, just looking at me, that I had such diverse intellectual interests, or that I enjoyed discussion of science so much. And it’s true, I’m rather reserved most of the time with others in the lab, perhaps even shy about others’ reactions to my opinions. The personal compliments I’ve received on my blogging have been encouraging me to consider extending my efforts.
It is rather significant that I post so regularly, and apparently write well enough, without ever having asked for a dime. Another colleague suggested that maybe that is what I should be doing, if I enjoyed it so much, even if only as something “on the side.”
The trouble is, I don’t quite know how one might go about turning science blogging into a profitable writing experience. Bora is the only one that I know to have done this, with publishing The Open Laboratory: The Best Writing on Science Blogs 2006. Other science writers, such as Carl Zimmer, Chris Mooney, and others, were writers first and then blogged, so that’s not of much help.
One possibility is to just write. Essays, commentaries, reporting of published results. Well, I do that a bit already. I could develop my wit and humor, I could write longer and more comprehensive posts, and I could begin to weave them into a publishable series or anthology. Or maybe I could create a column, or get some press credentials for the AAAS, National Academies of Science, National Audubon Society, or the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
I don’t know, but if you have any advice, I’m listening.