Summer has slipped away from London, as it seems to do every year around this time – the air has an autumnal coolness and raindrops patter against lab windows. We Londoners work around this, as we do around so many other inconveniences, picking blackberries between cloudbursts or catching a quick, chilly swim in the Hampstead Mixed Ponds after work.
It’s a false autumn, and no doubt hotter weather is around the corner, but such seasonal mimicry still evokes deeply rooted, atavistic feelings of transition in me. I myself at am a turning point. Not five minutes ago I clicked the shiny ‘submit’ button on my revised manuscript, after having addressed all the referees’ criticisms to the best of my ability.
This means that, hopefully soon, there will be nothing between me and the need to start writing for independent funding. Over the past months, as I’ve worked hard on experiments to finish the paper, I’ve been snatching background reading whenever I could. And I have a rough idea how I want to structure my proposed project. But what I’ve lacked is the luxury of time and a cleared desk to truly do it justice. Until now.
For me, the biggest challenge will be trying to fit some loose ends into the main project. I have a few exciting lines of research I’m working on now that I’d love to carry on with alongside, but I need to work them into the bigger picture of the new project. Fortunately I have a knack for narrative, so I look forward to this aspect. Such a refreshing contrast, too, from working on a revised manuscript, where you dwell on every last little excruciating detail from the past until it all blurs together into a page full of random pixels.
So bring on the future, and all those wonderful biological questions that remain to be answered!