June 1, 2022

How to unf*ck your writing – a check list

Language warning. It’s fruity in here people! On the back door of the Greens office in Braddon, where I’ve been spending a lot of time lately, there’s a sticker with ‘unfuck the future’ right at eye height. This sticker made me chuckle each time I opened the office during this long election campaign. The electioncontinue reading.

May 4, 2022

The feedback loop of shit

I’ve often compared the last part of your PhD to putting your head in a bucket. In the Researcher developer trade we call this last bit of the PhD ‘The Write Up’. ‘Writing up’ involves hours and hours of detailed work; to end up with a manuscript ready for examiners. There’s a sameness to Writingcontinue reading.

February 2, 2022

The PhD supply chain problem

It’s been a funny old start to the year hey? As I write this, in mid January, the Omicron variant is raging here in Australia. Supply chain problems are resulting as key workers either get sick, or have to isolate. Every visit to the supermarket is an adventure – you don’t know what you arecontinue reading.

January 5, 2022

How to win at academic tearoom conversations – even when there are no tearooms

Did you have a break over Christmas / New Years? I hope so. It’s summer here in Australia, so we are rolling into the quiet month of January. For the second year in a row, we have a low fire danger summer, instead of a repeat of the horror of 2019. In fact, it prettycontinue reading.

November 3, 2021

Why a PhD can feel pointless (and what to do about it)

Probably should start this one with a content warning. I try to be upbeat and helpful, but I am touching on mental health issues here, including anxiety and depression. If you’d rather not go there today, click away now. Here’s a gif of a kitten before you go: If you believe the ‘The Illustrated Guidecontinue reading.

October 6, 2021

How to finish that big writing project (and get on with your life)

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to run my workshop called ‘How to finish that big writing project (and get on with your life)’. I’m guessing it’s a sign of pandemic fatigue: everyone close to the end of a PhD just wants it to be, well – over. I feel you. I’m notcontinue reading.

August 4, 2021

The late stage (or lock down) loopy la-las

There’s a period of PhD study that I have come to call ‘the loopy la-las’: when you become highly capable of doing PhD work, but start to become incompetent at, well – almost everything else. I remember the day it started to happen to me. It was 2008 and I was deep in a Foucaultcontinue reading.

June 2, 2021

The project finishing mindset

To generalise ridiculously, there are three types of people: People who start a research project intending to finish it on time. People who start a project not really caring when they finish it. People who don’t care about finishing a project on time until they fly past the deadline. If you are doing a PhDcontinue reading.

April 7, 2021

Information indigestion? The search for a perfect note taking system.

For the last 20 years I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect academic note taking system. I abandoned paper in 2005 when I realised my notebooks were the place my ideas went to die. Although writing into a notebook felt useful at the time it was hard to find stuff later. Flipping fruitlesslycontinue reading.

January 6, 2021

Why your anxiety might also be a super power

Happy new year everyone! I don’t know about you, but during 2020, I often felt like a helpless bus passenger being driven towards the edge of a cliff by incompetent politicians and powerful business interests. I feel this way about climate change all the time, but the pandemic made the feeling so much worse. Allcontinue reading.

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