How not to write a scientific paper

This is the first day I have felt well enough to engage in any of my normal work activities. I feel more or less back to my usual self, aside from a sore throat that somehow is lingering with so far unspoken intent. So I thought that I might make a start on a paper that I am working on with my work colleagues. I don’t normally like to work at home but given that most of the week has been wiped out with me being snotting and sneezing everywhere, I did not want have much of a choice if I wanted to meet the deadline of first draft before Sunday. In reality, given that my brain has been mush all week, given only to posting other people’s articles on Facebook or Twitter, I could safely say that my powers of analysis, critical thought and general organisation were pretty much down the drain and on the way to the Irish Sea. It was a big ask, I failed in style. I would recommend NOT doing the following if you want to achieve academic success.

1. Get up eat a hearty bowl of porridge and then snuggle back under the covers with Michelle Obama’s book. Up to voting day November 2008

2. Work for a hour and then go back to bed

3. Decide that ALL the clothes in the laundry basket need sorting into colour order and then washing one basket at a time.

4. Binge watch The Kominsky Method and then in the theme of the silver screen start watching Grace and Frankie.

5. Decide that’s it’s just too depressing it’s and move onto catching up with the Good Place.

6. Decide that the braids that were installed eight weeks ago need to come out, now,today.

6. Decide that watching the Good Place is too depressing (for reasons you cannot quite articulate) and decide to watch a series of motivational and uplifting TED talks.

7. Decide that, now, right now, you need to take a shower and wash and condition and style your newly released Afro.

8. Call your younger sister and find out how her day has been looking after three children under the age of three (note – exponentially busier that yours has been)

9. Open the door to the Sainsbury’s delivery man and sort out the shopping (now it’s not a normal thing, both myself and my husband were ill, couldn’t drive and needed food and thought we’d try this). realise two things a. strange man in your house and your all alone, you are not reassured that ‘he looks harmless enough’ is a thing to take any confidence in anymore. b. Your kitchen is a mess and you had not thought through the logistics of somebody bringing a weeks worth of shopping to your flat (they need to be unloaded and checked – and that cannot happen in the communal hallway)

10. ‘Cook’ (place yesterday’s lentil soup in microwave for 10 minutes) for the husband and the sit opposite him and watch him eat, while you both stare at each other in silence and occasionally break out into a goofy smile.

And there you have it. Not much achieved today except overwhelming sense of guilt about the work that I just did not have the attention and concentration to complete today.

BUT tomorrow is another day.

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