I'm currently in my first semester as a tenure-track faculty in a small liberal arts college. I also finished my dissertation and defended about 5 months ago. While I'm grateful that I've got a tenure-track job as a newly minted Ph.D., I'm struggling to do research at the moment. Of course, I've been busy adjusting to the new lifestyle, but honestly, it hasn't been bad at all.
So, to cut it short, making time for research or lack of energy isn't really the issue for me. I consistently have at least 3-4 hours of writing time everyday. I think I'm just burned out from research after finishing my dissertation. When I sit down to do research, I spend hours doing nothing on my computer. I can't get myself to focus and write. I thought resting for 3 months after my defense was enough, but this state of unproductivity in research makes me very anxious.
Sometimes, I even think that I might not be apt to do research anymore. Is this normal? What was it like for you? Does it get better? How do I get over this?
Thank you for your answers. They were all helpful to read. I know I'm not the only junior faculty suffering from a burnout after getting the degree. I've seen more people taking at least a year off after they finish than continuing with productive research. I needed to acknowledge that my 3-month break was not enough. I'll take it slow for now. I need to find my passion for research again from within, and it will happen soon.
Another problem is that I still haven't quite figured out what kind of scholar/teacher I would want to be. I'm not sure if I want to pursue my career in an R1 university or a teaching school. I come from a very large R1 university and didn't want to live a research-oriented lifestyle that would make me work 70 hours a week. And at that point, I was already burned out from my dissertation even before I finished it. But now that I'm in a teaching school, I miss the environment of intellectual conversations and academic discussions. I'm not sure if I'll be content in teaching-focused environment.
How did you guys decide or know which environment you wanted to work for?