I’m coming to realise that the old proverb of the foolish man building his house upon sand is every bit as true in research as it is everywhere else.
If you don’t have a good solid foundation for your work, it’ll all come readily tumbling down as soon as the tide comes in. And depending how audacious your work is, you may find an awful lot of academics running gleefully towards you with buckets of water at the ready. Worse yet, if it’s not so interesting, they might just wait for it to fall down of its own accord. It’s easy (albeit perhaps, misguided) to try and salvage things by building more — provided you have anything left to build on.
Make your foundations nice and secure. Then it’ll be a lot more difficult for your research to fall down. I guess that’s what I’m doing right now. Making sure I have good foundations.
I’m optimistic I’ll have plenty to build upon when I’m all done…