diary general announcement


Happy New Year and Good Health

As much as 2022 started with good vibes (covid seemed behind us, starting the blog, new projects…), the giddy feelings all came to an abrupt end in February. An unfortunate accident with my bicycle on the way to work resulted in a badly broken elbow and, a couple of weeks later, the world woke up to the abject invasion of Ukraine. The good year wishes didn’t last very long, did it?

Life Goes On and Has So Much to Offer

Nevertheless, obstacles remain just that; obstacles. We stumble on them but we get back up, learn from them, and push forward. After a mentally costly surgery, my arm is on the path of full recovery and mental health keeps its steady ascension from the gloom of 2020.

I am now back on the daily blog and have so many projects to start, share, and thrive on. 2022 may have stumbled a bit in this first quarter but there is so much more to live for; I’m very excited about what’s coming 😀

Closing Words

So, how has the beginning of 2022 been treating you? Any topics you would like to see covered here?

Thank you for reading. See you tomorrow.


One More Week of Daily Writing and Ideas

‘Challenge Must Go On’

After the first three weeks of publishing a new blogpost every day, this is what I’ve learned.

First of all, the daily grind of writing daily gets easier, but unlikely to become second nature. This is so far falling within expectations. The grind comes from fearing the writing process and the inherent writing block. As stated in the very first blogpost, the motive for starting this challenge was to learn to overcome this writer block. At this stage, I confirm that writing these blogposts is getting easier in comparison to the very first few ones. Ideas are flowing faster and in greater number. Sentences are forming in my head with less friction.

Furthermore and similarly to any skills, this is unlikely to become pain-free and the dread to write will not disappear, however smaller it becomes. This is both anticipated and in a sense welcomed. Part of what makes experiences enjoyable lies in the efforts that one pays to ripe the rewards. Like in a rollercoaster or climbing a mountain, the joy at the end is fueled by the fear or the sweat (or both ;p) in performing any of these activities.

Another side-effect consists in a lowering of my fear to share out more openly my thoughts and its positive impact on my stress level. A facet of my burn out stems from the harsh job environment of academia where written work (e.g. papers, proposals, reports, lecture notes, tutorials) are heavily criticized through their related review process. This had a massive negative impact on my mental state, already weakened by numerous bad personal and professional events. Some took place over a defined periods of time in the past and scared me till now to the point of more easily triggering burns out now. This is a point the work my therapist and I have been focusing on for the last year and we’ve made good progress on. I appreciate that very few of you are reading these blogposts as of now but releasing them combined with sharing them openly on this blog has tremendously eased the weight on my mind about my ability to write and share ideas. So thank you, the internet.

I thus shall continue to this writing challenge for all this above virtues and more.

‘Blog Will Rock You’

When scared about losing ideas to others, then one good advice surprisingly consists in sharing these ideas, as many more will start flowing; this writing challenge is no exception.

The more blogposts I write, the more ideas are coming to my head; at first during the writing sessions, then little by little throughout the day (please let me sleep at night). The first type of ideas consists of themes to write about in future posts. The second consists of future projects for this blog and general website. The third type is about the methods of sharing these ideas. The first two are self-explanatory and you will most likely see these ideas concretised in near-future blogposts or webpages.

The third type is however more subtle to describe. As much as I stated above that sharing these blogposts in the open on the internet has almost a therapeutic positive impact on my mental health, I also acknowledge that this blog is pretty hard to find and most likely (as confirmed by the website’s statistics) these posts are hardly read. This is the point I’m slowly warming up to improve by gathering the courage to share or advertise these posts more widely, especially on social media (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn). The objective is to gather more views and learn more and faster through exchanging comments with other readers. This can read at first as a contradiction to the point stated at the beginning of this post about how reviews badly impacted me. Rather than that, my view is rather that my mental health has been slowly regenerating through this writing challenge and is now ready to rise to the bigger challenge again.

There are also many other projects about creating a podcast about power electronics knowledge, a YouTube channel about modelling and control, a GitHub repository about open-source projects… You will hear more when these ideas will have more matured.

So, watch that space for more (grand and wider) announcements!

Closing Words

How has your reading experience on this daily blog been so far? Do you have any features or topics you would like me to cover?

For some reasons, the songs of the late Freddie Mercury resonated in my head while writing this blogpost. Did you catch their influence on the section names? ;p

Thank you for reading. See you tomorrow.



In Search of a Theme

Being close to finish the first week of this challenge, I realise that future blogposts should have a central storyline.

This came to me as I started writing the blog post for today. Understandably, the first question which popped into my mind was “what will I write about today?”. And invariably, the next question is “what will I write about tomorrow?” and by extension the day after, and the day after. Surely, I will run out of ideas.

This is where reasoning comes to help. First, they are numerous examples of great people out there, who keep producing inspiring content everyday (or at least very regularly) on the same theme. Second, this experiment (or blog) will eventually meets its end; whether because I moved on or the fact that ultimately I will pass away! From the latter, I do not need to worry about finding an infinite number of topics to talk about.

The former is more important as it contains the important key: focus on one story and you will never run out of topics to share.

The Clues Are Already There

But then which story to choose?

Well, this is where starting this experiment, even without this prior knowledge could be useful. In life, we often do not know where we want to go until we are already quite a long way along the path. Babies don’t say they want to be a specialist brain surgeon until they have at least understood the concept of what a doctor is. Sometimes, the path is also not that evident to us and we need to take at least a few steps to start seeing the light.

But ultimately we are who we are from our own life experiences and, within the chaos of our random Brownian motion through life, patterns emerge and we should keep an eye for them. Looking back on the first 5 posts of this blog, it now looks evident that what I am after and, most importantly, what I thrive to share is a story of self-improvement out of what has been a long burnout period.

I’m no expert at this but I’m learning and I hope that you will also learn a thing or two from my takes on this self-improvement journey.

Thank you for reading. See you tomorrow.


Writing challenge

Already late! Oh well, better than nothing. One of my fears is about writing. I’m sure there is something down in my childhood which triggered that but here we are today with me being a researcher – a job primarily focused on sharing knowledge through writing – being afraid of writing and to a lesser extent reading. Since I’m going through counseling therapy, I’ll have to raise this point with them but for now I’ve decided to take up a new challenge.

Fears and overcoming it

It’s not like I don’t know how to write. If anything, my father massively inspired my learning of language; originally French but this passion for expression must run so deep that it has extended to all languages. This means that my writing is actually far from being bad (if I may borrow the English way of underestimating oneself) but I also suffer from perfectionism syndrome. This leads to me fearing writing anything, especially if shared with others, to the point of freezing in action – or rather right before action – in the silly wait for the perfect words before laying them down. This is in spite of perfectly knowing that (i) perfection doesn’t exist, (ii) any good piece of work is actually the result of numerous iterations, and (iii) I’m well capable of writing (adequately) understandable improvised essays as this quickly-put-together post demonstrates it.

One of the many things that I’ve learned in this life (and far from being the last one) reveals that the ‘fake it till you make it’ does hold some good truth. This idiom often carries a bad vibe but my job as a teacher confirmed by experience that the best way to learn remains to practice and thus ‘doing it’ despite not yet mastering it is a good way of learning it.

‘Write till you make it’

For these reasons, I’ve decided to start a new challenge: I’ll write a blog post everyday on this website and gather more confidence in my writing abilities and hopefully overcoming this writing block which is affecting everyday.

I’m not committing to any posting time (technically already late if my first challenge day was supposed to be Monday!) but consistency remains key in this type of challenges. So I’ll see you around and thanks for reading.