Dark Circles Are Your Friends: Finishing a PhD Thesis

There are lots of posts out there offering useful hints and tips about finishing a PhD thesis. Having recently submitted my own, I decided to write about my experience of finishing. Rather than provide a “top 10 tips” type of article I’ll highlight a few of the major moments and experiences I had. Firstly, I […]

Academic Writing Month 2013: My Goals

@americasstudies I’m sure you’ve seen the flurry of post after the official announcement: yes, #acwrimo 2013 is alive and kicking (1/2). — Melanie Boeckmann (@m_boeckmann) October 10, 2013 Academic Writing Month is on our doorsteps once again. After some success with it last year – all 9247 words of it – I am definitely taking […]

Shut Up and Write Acrostic

Spotlight (on your writing) Hub (of activity) Universal (method for all writing types) Team (effort) Useful (for supercharging writing) Participate (with your peers in a socio-work setting) Amiable (environment to write and meet people) Negotiable (time, place, and duration) Diversity (in/out of every session) Words (on screen/paper, among friends) Regular (sessions help people keep in […]

Am I Making You Sick? Why I Love Academic Blogging

I recently read an article by Inger Mewburn (The Thesis Whisperer) called “‘You make me want to throw up’: why do some academics hate blogging?” As I read down through Mewburn’s experiences of resistance to blogging among academics I felt incredibly familiar with most of them: the accusation that blogging is not scholarly, the comments […]

“End of Chapter Blues”: The Stress of an Ending & How to Overcome It

I’m currently finishing a thesis chapter and the straggling, stuttering, strangling struggle has begun. I powered through Academic Writing Month (#AcWriMo), one of my aims being that I would finish the write-up of my current thesis chapter leaving only the editing, restructuring etc. for the beginning of December. The write-up was glorious! Aside from a few lackadaisical days […]

To Conclude: Academic Writing Month and Me

As Academic Writing Month Draws to an end, I wish to reflect on how it has shaped my work over the past month. I sit here in a shut up and write session organised by WISPS (#WispsWD)using the last few minutes of the writing hours to begin this post. I entered AcWriMo with the hope that […]

Shut Up and Write: The Pros and Cons of Going it Alone

I have been using the “Shut Up and Write” method as part of my PhD writing regime for over a year. The first few sessions were conducted with at least one other participant and I found it very productive as a method. Having someone present to discuss writing, share hints and tips, as well as […]

Writer’s Block: How to Overcome the Fear of the Blank Page

I regularly fall prey to writer’s block. Faced with a blank page, my mind empties, my sense of purpose evaporates and I begin to panic. I become overwhelmed by negative thoughts: I’ll never be able to write again….I’m in over my head with this….and so on! This has overshadowed my postgraduate research and writing since […]