If you hang around universities long enough you will learn that academics love to bond over war stories about writing. In Australia we call this kind of conversation “talking shop”. I love talking shop because I reckon it’s one of the best ways to learn how to do academic work of all kinds.
For instance, some years ago, on a plane ride home from a conference, I happened to sit next to a senior academic from my university. This guy is one of those wonderful academics who
somehow avoided growing a hard shell over the years and becoming a grumpy old bastard will still display his weaknesses to others. One of the things that he told me was not to worry too much about how stupid your ideas look the first time you put them on paper.
This was news to me – I was doing my masters…
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