Week 8: The Article

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Monday, July 26, 2021


Maura Shapiro

I wish I had more interesting updates to tell but I spent all week on one goal: writing the Physics Today Online article. Since the interviews had been conducted, I spent my time transcribing, fact-checking, writing, and, most importantly, editing. I wrote for three days straight, blasting my favorite classical music (mainly Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Dvorak’s 5th Symphony, Grieg’s Peer Gynt, and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet). I alternated from a writing trance, fingers flying across the keyboard, typing faster than I could think, and absolute burnout, struggling to get a single sentence on the page, rewarding each line with a sip of coffee. By Friday, I had finished the story but it was more than twice the length it was supposed to be. After a full day of edits, I had cut just 500 words but was more than ready for the weekend. This experience has more than tripled my respect for the Physics Today intern, Madison, who does this every week.

Unfortunately, my weekend was not for decompressing because I moved out of my Pittsburgh apartment back home to Virginia. It’s odd writing this blog entry from my childhood desk. The plus side, of course, is the coffee at this house is already made by the time I wake up. It was sad leaving Pittsburgh, the city I had lived in for the past four years, and of course, this means no more coffee with Madison while we work, but it is good to be home.


Maura Shapiro