rainbow-ribbon-background-1393277149gAjYou might have noticed that my blogging trailed off over the last year.  It presented me with a choice:  kill the blog off or make a decent go at it again.  I love blogging.  I find it helps me to think aloud, and share ideas with an amazing and diverse community of readers.  It helps me to reach far beyond a normal academic audience and work through which ideas are worth pursuing and which can be left to wither on the vine.  Next year will be the tenth anniversary of this blog and it would be a shame not to make the ten years.  I’m also leading  gender and sexuality module this academic year, for the first time since I joined Northumbria back in 2013.  One of the original drivers for the blog was the creation of a law and sexuality course at my previous institution.

Yet, I’ve been rubbish at blogging these last few months.  Really rubbish.  The wonderful Jess Guth recently blogged on her negative experiences in higher education and making a fresh start.  Together, we recently edited a collection for legal scholars drawing on the experiences of more than 60 academics and yet we still make wrong-turns.

In my case it was to find myself seriously over-stretched.  I had said yes too freely to too many things and I found myself unable to fulfil all those commitments, feeling unsatisfied even when I did complete tasks, feeling that ‘good enough’ wasn’t good enough for me.  I also felt utterly exhausted far too often.  It’s taken me a few months to dial down those commitments, and to re-prioritise what I want.  Blogging is the start of trying to re-kindle my creativity and spark.  Your engagement and  encouragement is an incentive to keep going and power through the busy periods.  I’m also surrounded with awesome colleagues such as the tremendous Elaine Campbell who maintains a wonderful blog that shows the rest of us how it’s done.  I also continue to welcome guest blog posts.  So, if you have an idea you’d like to pitch or a draft you’d like to share/re-post, do feel free to give me a shout via Twitter @lawandsexuality or send me an email (chris.ashford@northumbria.ac.uk).  So, I’m back and I’m really looking forward to re-starting the conversation with you.