2014 in 14 Bullet Points

Happy New Year!

For the first post this year I thought it would be good to summarise my 2014 and what stands out for me. On Wednesday I’ll talk about some of my plans for 2015 as well, but it’s important to look back before planning ahead I think.

  1. I had a full year of me and my wife seeing our daughter change and grow before our eyes.
  2. I started blogging again in September, and was able to keep up four posts a week minimum until I took a break for Christmas.
  3. I conducted a survey about the viva experiences of PhD graduates in the UK, and shared some of the results.
  4. I produced 11 episodes of the Viva Survivors Podcast.
  5. I worked with over 800 researchers on various workshops.
  6. I didn’t read quite as many books as I hoped (see this Friday’s post for my 2015 reading list).
  7. I continued delivering Viva Survivor workshops and loving doing them – and started talking with supervisors about Viva Survivor too.
  8. I finally chucked out my undergraduate maths lecture notes (after going through and extracting some useful stuff). It’s over twelve years since undergrad, and I didn’t want to move house in a couple of years and still be carrying them with me.
  9. I decided that my next ebook was going to be Frequently Asked Questions About The PhD Viva, and I’m working towards publishing it in the next three months.
  10. Speaking of books, my first ebook, Fail Your Viva, is still available in the Amazon Kindle Store! I sold over 200 copies last year, and it was borrowed about 20 times too from the Kindle Library.
  11. And staying on the viva track for one more point, I started making plans for the Viva Survivors Podcast, and am happy that I was able to keep up two episodes per month for the last three months of the year.
  12. I started another podcast with a friend, where we waffle on about role-playing games. It’s A Gaming Podcast About Nothing, if you’re interested.
  13. I started a Patreon campaign to try and support the Viva Survivors Podcast financially, but I’ve had to suspend it until (at the very least) I find out what changes to the VAT laws would mean for me.
  14. I realised that I have a creative itch for role-playing games that is not being scratched; so now have to figure out what I want to do to start that ball rolling.

What were the highlights of 2014 for you? Did you get things done as you expected? What surprised you?

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

creative thinking

Creative Thinking Tuesday, 25th November 2014

In previous posts in this little series I’ve thought about tools and inspiration. I think that these are pretty important, and I love it when I come across new sources of both. I think that there is something really great about finding things that support creativity and creative thinking – but at the same time, I think it’s also really useful to look at what things might hinder creative thinking. No sense in putting your foot down on the accelerator while the brake is on!