The Reality Test is a blog and company website by freelance writer, Jacqueline Abrams. The blog is about finishing a PhD and becoming a freelance copywriter and researcher. The target audience is other small businesses or individuals that need writing and research, or people that are interested in the blog.
Please look at the site, http://www.therealitytest.com, since the logo will be featured there. The banner image on the home page will change, but the logo will replace the current stand-in logo in the upper left corner.
I’m looking for something that will reflect my writing style and appeal to the viewer.
Please read this first blog post (attached below) to get a sense of my writing and find out why the site is called “The Reality Test.”
Post#1: “Now you just have to live in reality like the rest of us.” This was my father’s response when I told him that I was leaving academia. Never one to opt for the minor comfort of euphemism, my father prefers the open air of a blunt comment. Skip the niceties. Say things as you see them. So, he said it as he saw it, and what he saw was this: that somewhere in the not-too-distant future, I had a date fixed with reality, and now that I had jumped ship, the inevitable was on its way for me.
Just to admit it upfront, this particular brand of ship-jumping lacks the fanfare and fireworks that I’ve sometimes seen from colleagues over the years. The dramatic mid-graduate school abandonment, a throw-caution-to-the-wind version, which actually requires some degree of bravery and risk because you’ve come so far, but not quite landed anywhere in particular. No, this version is much more plodding, measured, a careful lower-yourself-over-the-rails kind of departure. It’s the version in which, after a decade in graduate school, hundreds of hours teaching students, a library full of obscure books, and 300 pages of dissertation writing on philosophy and literature, you simply pitch for a more commercial harbor.
So with PhD in hand and everything perfectly lined up to enter the profession, I am leaving academia behind. But as I make this move, my father’s comment still lingers. Reality awaits me. What does this mean? A warning? A challenge? Or is it just a form of paternal teasing, my father keeping pace with his excitable daughter, who has made something of a habit of announcing major life-detours: I am moving to Italy to speak Italian and eat good food; I am going to Brazil to dance Samba; I am headed to Berlin to write about Nietzsche and Kafka because they obviously can’t be written about anywhere else…
But his comment also reveals something bigger. It is the much more commonly held belief that, between the “Academy” and the rest of the world, there is a vast chasm. It is a way of saying: Sure, you are free to contemplate reality, meditate on it till the cows come home, but to really live it, to be part of it, is a whole different story. To exist in reality is to feel the weight of it upon you, to understand how you can manipulate it, make it bend to your designs, a corporate merger here, a technological patent there. It is also to be crushed by it when the economy tanks, when your business slows, or your investments plummet while you were just tying your shoelace. So, however profoundly and brilliantly you philosophize about reality—its nature, its meaning, its value—you do not know the beast that it is, unless you step out from behind the pile of books and confront it head on.
I am writing this more than a month after my father made that comment, but this blog was born right then and there, when he invited me to join him (and the rest of the world) in “reality.” I do not yet know whether this mythical vast chasm will turn out to be a seismic scar right down the center of things, dividing these two worlds across an abyss, or whether the tools that are shaped and honed within the Academy will prove to be just as powerful in this world as they were in that one.
So, I suppose this blog is a way of throwing down the gauntlet, taking up the challenge, saying “bring it,” Reality, whatever you are. And to the rest of you, I say, welcome to The Reality Test. Thank you for showing up.