One year on from the viva…


September 6, 2012 by researchertransitions

This time last year I had just come out of my PhD viva!  Yikes.  I can’t believe how time has flown…and how little I’ve done with my PhD.  It sits on my shelf, alongside various books I used during my studies (and some I never got round to reading, and some I read FOR FUN – yes, since the PhD I have rediscovered reading for fun!)

However, not a word of it has been published.  I haven’t even submitted an electronic copy to the library (I aim to finally do this today!) My examiners gave me great advice on publishing and lots of encouragement – I said I’d take a few months break then seriously consider publishing. Now it is a whole year later!  Is it too late?  Do I even want to?  Would it be a waste not to?

I didn’t publish during my PhD because the prospect caused stressed me out. I wasted at least one summer tying myself in knots over a potential publication that I never finished. Ironically for someone in the process of writing an 80 000 word document, I had developed a fear of writing, or at least, a fear of writing for publication. It was my own fault.  I’d been given good advice from my Masters supervisor – ‘write every day, then you get started early and it’s not a big deal’ – but had not followed it. My PhD supervisors and peers had told me to publish early, but after a thwarted early attempt (a chapter accepted for a book, but the book never ended up getting published) it was all too easy to let it slip. Writing became rather scary and if I had to spend large amounts of time doing it, my morale plummeted. I think I only managed to write my PhD because of deadlines set by supervisors (I’m one of those people who is motivated by deadlines and likes to get things in on time) and the enjoyable distractions of teaching, internships, conference attending/organising and meeting inspiring people who gave me the energy.

So do I want to publish now?  And why am I blogging about it? Have I got over the fear of writing for public consumption?

Hmmm well, maybe.  We were encouraged to blog at work recently and found myself starting to enjoy it. I passed a publishing milestone when I submitted a book which I’d edited and written a short intro for…very scary, but ultimately a fun experience (I should note that I haven’t got feedback from the publisher yet, so it still could get scary!)  And now I’ve started to blog. So we will see. I might start to publish…if not on my PhD research on my new interests as a careers adviser for researchers, and if not in academic journals, maybe in journalistic outlets.  Watch this space!

2 thoughts on “One year on from the viva…

  1. A year after your viva isn’t too late! (At least I hope it’s not – just today I’ve started writing my first paper from my PhD – 18 months after it was finally approved, and nearly 3 years since my viva…). Very much know the feeling of not wanting to publish during the PhD (and in my case, I was too fed up of it to even look at it again for months and months afterwards). Good luck!

    • Thanks for the comment! I am enjoying reading your blog too – seems like we have somethings in common. Yes, it probably isn’t too late to publish most of my thesis. There are some parts of it that were very contemporary, tied to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, so it would have been ideal if I’d been organised enough to publish those bits in time for the London Olympics! Oh well, we’ll see. Good luck with your own publishing, I think starting is half the battle so now you’re well on your way!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 19 other followers


A PhD is just the beginning

Technical Philosophy

Intellectual musings from an aspiring Australian medtech entepreneur


research education, academic writing, public engagement, funding, other eccentricities.

Running In A Forest

Exploring Career Guidance & Development in a Complex and Obscured World by Thomas Staunton

architectural modelling

physical / digital tools for architectural design

%d bloggers like this: