Latest Blog Post

Are you a ‘Spreader’ or a ‘Stacker’?

Are you a ‘Spreader’ or are you a ‘Stacker’? In your writing time, do you prefer to spread it out by writing a little bit every day, or to set aside a ‘writing day’ and stack up all your writing blocks in one go?

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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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Recent Blog Posts

Catch up on the latest blog posts

How I learned to stop over-editing

Everyone has a path to expertise, and sometimes it’s helpful to loop back to an earlier time, when I was trying to work out how these book-length things even were possible, long before I accidentally wrote three books in a year. It’s a story involving a typewriter and a very long poem.

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Is it time to de-clutter your ‘to-be-read’ pile?

There is no need to hoard articles you don’t actually want to read, but feel like maybe you might one day. Or to cling onto things you read years ago, like a dragon on a glittering bed of pdfs. Having a bookshelf or a lot of pdfs in your cloud server is not scholarship, and it isn’t a personality. It’s just having a lot of paper. We don’t care if you own a lot of papers, we care about what your critical and expert opinion is of what you have read, and how you are using it to advance knowledge.

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This year I’m aiming for a dynamic balance

Perhaps you feel like your year swings into productivity and then out again. Perhaps you are aware of all the wobbles and adjustments you are constantly having to make. Perhaps sometimes you need to reach out for support. Maybe sometimes you fall off balance and have to quickly get back up again. These are ways that people talk to me about balance–and they suggest that they are therefore ‘bad at balance’, ‘unbalanced’. But actually, this is exactly how bodies and minds should balance.

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Single use tools

Sometimes you have a task that is essential, but will only need to be done once. It can’t be done with your multi-use tools or even some of the more niche tools you have in your writing tool box. Nope. It needs a specialist, with a specialist tool, to intervene once.

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Are you procrastinating, or do you need a nap?

At a workshop the other day, as they always do, someone asked about how to get over ‘procrastination’. And as I always do, I asked whether what they were experiencing was procrastination, or something else. Any delay, resistance or pause in the productivity machine is labelled as ‘procrastination’ and it often isn’t. But it can be hard to tell, when all you know is that you sat down to work and couldn’t get started.

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Resources

Books

For more insider tips, techniques and insights, check out my books.

Level Up Your Essays

Level Up Your Essays is the essential guide to essay writing for university students. Written by the people who mark your essays, it will show you step-by-step how to write high-quality essays that will get you top marks.

Your PhD Survival Guide

The ‘Insider Guides to Success in Academia’ offers support and practical advice to doctoral students and early-career researchers. These neat pocket guides fill specific and significant gaps in current literature. 

How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble

This clear and accessible guide to decoding academic feedback will help you interpret what your lecturer or research supervisor is really trying to tell you about your writing – and show you how to fix it.

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