Catch Up, 26th January 2015

Previously in this sort-of link round-up slot I’ve had some kind of format where I talk about things in certain orders and so on. But after having spent a lot of time writing out to a clear structure lately (he says, conversationally referencing his next book) I thought I would write as things occur in this post.


I spent some time away last week at my first KESS Grad School of the year; it was great to work with a group of MRes scholars, hear about their research and look at some interesting case studies. Very happy that I have some more of these in the coming six months. This week I’m away in Bangor for a couple of days, talking to staff and PhD candidates about vivas, and on Friday morning I’m at LJMU to talk about viva prep there too. Busy times!


It’s been a while since I wrote one of these posts so some of the links aren’t from the last week or so; they are all things that have made me go “Hmm, interesting…” though, and I hope they do the same for you.

Thesis Whisperer, How to write 10,000 words a day – The more I hear about thesis bootcamps, the more that I want to get one off the ground in the north west of England. I wonder if there is anyone reading this who would be interested in that? I am totally behind the methods described to aim at massive amounts of writing in a single day. It can work. My peak is not quite 10k, but for NaNoWriMo one year I managed 9k in a day and over 15k for that weekend. Sad to see some (but not all, thankfully) comments on the article were along the lines of “Well it can’t work/It can’t be good words” despite the feedback on the method and the experiences of others. I can see that the method wouldn’t work for everyone – like many methods – but it definitely works for people!

Tim Ferriss – What My Morning Journal Looks Like – It dawned on me a few days ago that I used to do morning pages before I knew what morning pages were. I spent about two years of my daily back and forth to Liverpool writing. In fact, I have about twenty A5 hardback books filled with writing from those daily train times. Perhaps the value was in emptying my head at the beginning and end of each day? Do you do anything like this?

The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People – I love a nice infographic! As ever, if this is to be believed, the important thing is to have a routine. No matter what it is, so long as it works…

Seth Godin, Backing Into Your Future – A one sentence blog post, and so true.

Viva Survivors Podcast, Episode 33: Dr Helen Kara – Last week’s new episode and the first of 2015…

Viva Survivors Podcast, Episode 34: Dr Grant Aitken – …and this week’s new episode! Many thanks to Helen and Grant for coming on and sharing their stories!

Coming Soon

I’m hopefully a few days away from finishing my first draft of Frequently Asked Questions About The PhD Viva, which will give me a little more time to write here again. I have a feeling that this will be my first book of 2015, but not my last. I’ve been bitten by the writing bug hard…

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)