For the record: this past week I submitted two conference proposals, collaborated on three others, and am organizing one open meeting and participating in another at a local conference. All of the above? For two separate conferences, a local one and Internet Librarian (Monterey, how I miss you!)
All of which were driven by group mobilization, work needs, and presenting results of previous work. None of which were actually driven by my own research interests.
I feel a bit like a superhero for getting it all proposed and collaborated and organized and blurbed. But kind of a downscale Batgirl in fake leather, maybe a suburban superhero? Because I don’t get time to do the research I want to do, the stuff that whirls around in these blog posts. But, I am being a good professional, talking on interesting topics, and proactively taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. And doing my darndest to infuse some energy into the committee I chair which perennially teeters on the verge of collapse (and feels frighteningly close to going over this year!).
But it feels a bit like vinyl siding. It may be practical, and it certainly gets the job done. But it isn’t as pleasing as natural brick, stone, or wood. And it won’t hold up as well over the long run.
Not to mention, if I keep doing this, I will *never* get to claim my focus!