Listen: close your eyes and imagine the big picture

Over on the Whisper Collective Podcast, I’ve just released a series of audio recordings from the new book, Writing Well and Being Well for your PhD and Beyond.

In this third practice, I encourage you to close your eyes and imagine the big picture context for your research. It’s hard to read with your eyes shut, so we made it audible.

The English-language proverb ‘they can’t see the forest for the trees’ means that someone is so involved in the details (the trees) that they can’t see the big picture (the forest). As a PhD researcher, you need to spend a lot of time looking at tiny details. Microscopic particles, items of code, codicils, footnotes, referencing databases and commas. Sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture, like when you are editing the thesis as a whole. But the big picture is bigger than that. The big picture is your whole life, your whole community, all human knowledge and beyond, to the whole universe. 

Close your eyes, and put your work into context. 

Listen here, with links to all your favourite listening platforms:

This practice comes from Chapter 4, ‘Recharging’ in Writing Well and Being Well for your PhD and Beyond. 

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash


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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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