Interesting Things, August 6th 2015

It’s a long, long time since I’ve written a post for this blog – I deliberately took time off to focus on other projects (more on those soon), but today I want to share a couple of links to interesting things.

We The Humanities, curated by Emma Cole – all this week We The Humanities is being curated by Emma Cole, who recently produced a daily vlog about the last thirty days of her PhD leading up to submission. Emma has some interesting things planned for this week, and on Thursday – tomorrow! – I’ll be headed down to London to film a vlog episode about the viva and viva prep with her, as well as doing a Q&A on viva things with her. Check out the Twitter accounts above for more details.

Extremely Useful Notebook Organizing Hack – a title that does what it says on the tin; I’ve recently been cultivating a SANE habit of starting the day by recording a page of ideas in a little notebook, but that hasn’t quite hit the productive highs I’m aiming for. I think that having a more substantial notebook for idea development might help, and organisation-wise this might just make the difference.

20 misused English words that make smart people look silly – I’m going to print this and stick it in front of my desk for when I get my writing groove back…

10 tips for more concise writing – …and I think I’ll be sticking this next to it.

Explaining graphic design to four year olds – this article delighted me in a number of ways. First of all, I liked the approach and the results that the author took; it made me think about design and what it is, as it’s definitely a component of my work, and perhaps I need to recognise that more and think about how to apply it. But it also made me think about my work and the work of a lot of people I meet: researchers. How would you explain what you do to a four year old? My daughter is fast approaching two, and her language is really starting to come along – although the phrase “Chocolate biscuit please daddy please!” is clearer than some others – I have no clue what to say to her when she is a little older.

And I have a sneaking suspicion that if I can find a way to explain what I do to a four year old, then perhaps I’ll have figured out what I do too…

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)



Interesting Things, June 8th 2015

Hello! How are things in your part of the world? Since I last shared an interesting things post I’ve had a strange series of weeks. First, I was ill – and being ill sucks! I got better after a couple of days, but I realised that I have very little in the way of relaxing strategies. And as I write that I realise how odd it sounds: why would someone need strategies for relaxing? People talk about strategies or systems for time management or planning all of the time, but it feels wrong to think about strategies for relaxing.

I’ve also had a couple of weeks where I’ve been working from home. I’ve missed being out and about delivering workshops, but enjoyed the extra time around family. It’s also meant that I’ve had time to start planning for the next writing project, which I’ll probably be in a position to share something about soon. I’m aiming to publish again by mid-to-late-September I think, but this is contingent on me getting first drafts done by the end of July. I’ll need to use this last week of non-workshop time to really get a good plan together, and also break some ground on chapters……..

…….but I think it’s doable 🙂

Anyway! What have I been reading?


Interesting Things, May 18th 2015

A few weeks back I did the first of these regenerated round-up posts. A lot has happened since then, not least of which I published my second book. I also had a busy couple of weeks, working on the Manchester GRADschool and a First Year Development Workshop at Liverpool. With finishing a project like publishing a book, my brain is at once happy that it’s done, sad that it’s over and curious to know what I’ll be working on next. As a way to try and wrap things up I wrote a couple of posts about writing The Viva: Who? What? How? last week that you might be interested in. Meanwhile, elsewhere…


Interesting Things, April 27th 2015

I used to do a fortnightly round-up of things that I had been sharing or things that I had seen whilst on my travels, and then I stopped doing that. I think it would be a mistake (for now at least) to promise to do that regularly again, so instead I’ll start this irregular series of posts: Interesting Things. The condition for sharing things in these posts is that the thing I’m sharing interests me (or it’s something I’m doing, because I like talking about myself sometimes!).