Why I’m reinventing my (online) self and you can too

All, life

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Five years ago, I created Making Apple Pie From Scratch in a haze of inspiration, wanderlust and longing for the previous summer. I was a 21 year old Biology graduate that had recently returned to the leafy suburbs of London after a whirlwind 3 months abroad in Florida (read my old-school first ever blog post here). It had been an unforgettable summer in the sunshine state, spent watching rocket launches at NASA Kennedy Space Center, taking classes on space exploration, meeting (and partying with) astronauts, and making lifelong friends with people sharing my vision of the world.

Brimming with stories of the summer that I spent studying the stars, I felt compelled to share my journey and this blog began as a way to do just that. I caught the travel bug and have lived in 6 countries in the past 5 years, communicating science along the way. I have written about how our bodies will react to living on Mars, described astonishing light displays on Saturn, personified spacecrafts, dissected the anatomy of an asteroid and explored how satellites can help us to protect our planet. Creating #scicomm content is what I love to do and  when sprinkled with a dusting of my travel posts, the combination was a great fit for Making Apple Pie From Scratch.

That was until recently however. My blog – created by 21 year old me – hasn’t quite caught up with the 26 year old me that is writing this article. I am convinced that our digital persona and real-life self almost always never match up. And, with every year spent abroad and every experience along the way, I’ve felt my blog drift further and further away from who I am today, towards who I was yesterday. I’ve changed – as I’m sure you have too with every passing year of your life. Ever feel like the you you’re putting out in the world could be a little more truer to the real you? Same. This feeling affects writer’s block too – I’ve found it often happens when what you’re trying to write about isn’t really what you want to write about at that moment in time. That’s exactly how I realised that my online self needed a digital makeover. My interests include science, space and travel, but are not limited to those things either. Realising that you don’t have to pick one thing when you care about many is a profound moment that I think many of us don’t allow ourselves the creative headspace to ever reach.

Going forward, I’m going to begin sharing more of myself on this blog. I’ll be posting more honest content that is relatable and hopefully, helpful. That doesn’t mean less science, or travel, but more posts on other topics that interest me – which may, or may not include science and travel. As a young British Indian women who has a global perspective, I care about things as diverse as ethnic minority representation, climate change solutions, social enterprises and startups, the diaspora of 2nd gen immigrants like myself, creating technologies for change and empowering people to be their best selves. I’ve already written an article on the unexpected realities of living abroad that I wish I had known before, and am vocal about my many interests on Twitter already. My blog, it seems was the last online platform to catch up with my modern-day self. But, as I have learnt, it’s never too late to reinvent your online self. After all, as astronomer Carl Sagan said, “if you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe”. Well, Making Apple Pie From Scratch, here’s to reinvention.

-Nikita

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Creating Communication: 5 Ways to Improve your Writing Style

Creating Communication, science communication

Doing what you love for a living is one of the best things in life. However, as a Science Editor, writing for both work and as a hobby can sometimes lead to times of creative slumps or writer’s block. Ever had that frustrating feeling of wanting to write and/or having something to write about but for some reason the words just don’t seem to flow? Or, maybe you’re writing something but your writing style is still not coming across how you would like it?

Stepping away from your desk and taking a walk, a coffee break or talking to someone are great to distract the mind from overthinking your style of writing. But what about when you attempt to write again? It’s sometimes easy to get lost in the pages and forget what you’re communicating. Here are five ways that I’ve found help me to produce great content whilst ensuring that my writing style stays on the right track.

  1. Read More

It may seem obvious, but great reading leads to great writing. It allows you to grow as a writer, grow in vocabulary, inspiration, story arcs and sentence structure. The next time you find yourself in a creative slump, dust off your bookshelf and settle down on your couch for a few hours with a good read. That’s always a good idea.

  1. Write Like You Talk

Overthinking can lead to writers block. Often, writers that are great communicators in person can struggle on paper. When in doubt, it’s always better to be conversational.

  1. Know Your Audience

Keeping your reader in mind during the writing process is a vital element to ensuring that your article engages, inspires and most importantly is understood by the audience you are directing your words towards. The only true measure of how good your writing is, is the impact that it has on your audience.

  1. Feedback

The first attempt is almost always never how the article will look upon publishing. Seeking comments and criticism from editors, other writers, friends and perhaps a mentor helps to identify where your writing falls short. From this, you can now return to it with a fresh set of eyes and hone your style of writing with further iterations.

  1. Write What You Know

Research is key. Write about things that you know about and through extensive research, have earned the right to communicate. The more you know, the more confidence and credibility will come across through your words.

Hope some of these tips prove to be useful, happy writing!

-Nikita