The blog is back

Hello, and welcome back to Research Degree Insiders, the blog that never apologises for taking a holiday.

Not only is Writing Well and Being Well for your PhD and Beyond now in to my publishers, but we have a publication date and a preorder link. As always, if the book is not in your budget right now, I encourage you to let your local library know–which will benefit lots of other readers as well!

This book was a joy to write, and has been described by readers as a ‘gift’: ‘calming and supportive’ with a ‘sprinkling of humour’, ‘addictively practical’ and ‘a useful review and re-thinking of the writing process’.  While you are waiting for the book, listen to a conversation between me and the series editor Narelle Lemon to get a taster of the contents and tone!

I’ve also started a new senior management job, and I’m seeing yet another level of the ‘insides’ of the university. Being more senior seems to mean is that you bounce more abruptly from the banal to the sublime. Also more meetings. In the last two weeks, I have had to care both about microns of paint and about 40-year strategies, sometimes at the same meeting. I think it is this question of scale that will be the biggest adjustment.

Since my last post, I’ve also travelled interstate to give a pre-concert talk and present to a Federal department about communication skills, given lots of orientation workshops, and booked out my masterclass schedule for the first half the year (I’m going to have to pass on all requests from now until June, but I have some great people I can recommend if you need someone!)

So today I wrote a poem about eels (or about how hard it is to write a poem about eels, I’ve been trying to write this poem for a decade), got my hair cut, updated the books page on the blog, and am heading to the gym the long-way around to pick up my (finally) serviced bike.

I hope that the last two months have been kind to you. I hope that you have achieved goals. I hope that you are also finding time to reflect on what you have done with a purring cat sitting on your desk as the rain falls and the birds chatter outside your open window. That you have time to care for yourself, for others, for the things that make life possible. I wish you all the wellness in the world, and all the power to change it for the better.


Succeeding in a Research Higher Degree

Doing a Research Higher Degree (like a PhD) is hard, but lots of people have succeeded and you can too. It’s easier if you understand how it works, this blog gives you the insider view.


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Mindfulness is about being present in the moment with your writing, but there may be difficult feelings there. It can help to move from rehearsing how badly you feel, to articulating a beneficial wish for everything and everyone around you, including yourself. And apply it more specifically to your writing practice. 

Maybe you could dial up the positive talk, to yourself and others. How does that feel? What grace could be experienced?

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