Hi, hopefully some of you on this forum get where I am coming from and can help with this. For the people here working outside of academic institutions or money paying jobs, people who do proper academic-level science off there own back.....how do you find satisfaction with it? Feel like you have achieved anything? I am struggling with where I am going, finding no gratification in this is hard, having no academic environment around me is hard, getting nothing for the hours I put in is hard. I feel like nothing I produce will be looked at, and so I just end up thinking what is the point? Have any of you got any pointers? How do you cope? What are some of the things you do in order to function as an independent scientist / connect with the academic community? I want there to be an output of all this thinking and effort and hours I put in. Thanks.