October 2017

Writing my blog post for October 2017 not only means that it’s beginning to feel a lot like winter. It’s time to look back at the project’s first six months, although it feels as if I had just begun.

According to schedule?

The weird thing with projects proposals and the unavoidable work plans is that you never really seem to hit the time management right. There seems to be a tendency for void time slots to get filled automatically, so even with the necessary buffers counted in, chances are that you always find yourself lagging slightly (or significantly) behind. Invisibilia is certainly no exception. Although progressing quickly in the beginning and actually being ahead of schedule for a couple of months, something came up. In this case, it was the month of October and beginning of November. I had planned to take a week off to see my family in Germany. Then, my return trip got rescheduled, and I was suddenly out of office for two weeks and a half instead. In addition, I hade to vacate some days to care for my daughter. Come November, I thought the time had come to get back on track – only to find myself in bed with a virus for ten days.

Outreach activities

With work not running according to schedule, I also feel a bit under pressure to get my outreach activities going. My first attempts were on Twitter and Instagram, both with a personal and a project account. To be honest, there is a reason why I didn’t use any of these before: I’m not really a social media kind of person. The degree of self-explosion and the necessity to interact regularly simply don’t work well for my personality type. I stress out if I don’t do anything in this regard, and likewise I worry that it takes up more time than I have available for these kinds of things. So instead of trying hard to at least make the twitter account work, I have decided that the pay-off isn’t worth the effort (at least for the time being). Which is why I have to find other means. One is this blog, of course. Another is publishing on the project, and I have just started to work on two articles. A third one is conference papers, where I have been accepted to one and have the reply for another pending. The fourth one is invited lectures, and I’m excited to say that I will go to the University of Bonn in January in order to talk about Invisibilia.

Lessons learned

To sum up this first half year, there has been a significant drift between the original project plan and the way that the project is evolving. This pertains all parts of the project: the database, the manuscript research, the outreach activities and the planned publications. At the same time, I have started new (side) projects, such as book number 2, and got back to working on book number 1. Probably this is just what was to be expected. When drafting the project report, I couldn’t know how things would work out, and I surely hadn’t anticipated sickness and child-care days. The good thing is that I still feel that everything that I do is in some way beneficial to either the project or my personal development as a scholar.

Invisibilia is 25 % complete!