Writing up


Sorry I have been so quiet on my blog this year, I have been writing up and busy with work.

I am nearly there now… I hope! Hoping to submit by 30th September for a December viva.

I am going through days of wanting to run away, and getting into a meaty bit and loving it again.

Stay angry! On the days where you cannot work, read media articles, chat with colleagues and friends about ideas and your field, use twitter and follow debates. Keep your brain going even when you cannot get past the wall. Don’t beat yourself up for the bad days and bad weeks, your brain is still ticking away. Have time off, have time away, your brain needs it.

Remember that your Ph.D is not going to be a work of art. It is a starting point.

I handed my first ‘full’ (ish!) draft in at the start of June before I had 2 weeks of glorious annual leave. I needed that leave! It gave me a fresh head to face my thesis again. Seeing a full draft is so much better than seeing a blank page or random chunks. It really helps to give you a feel for your final thesis.

Personally, despite all my earlier posts, I would say DON’T write from the beginning. Write blogs, papers, notes, ideas, but don’t try and make them into your thesis. I have found it so hard to deal with a mish mash of chapters written at different stages. Your work from 1st year to final year changes immensely, and it looks like an awkward patchwork quilt all stitched together.

When you have your data, and when you have transcribed (hell on earth!) and analysed (hard but really enjoyable!) your data, that’s when you can write. Because everything changes in relation to your findings. You will have to re-write everything to fit with your findings chapters and discussion.

I also think the pressure to be writing X amount of words a week from 1st year takes the joy out of it. And doing a Ph.D should be an exciting time where you immerse yourself in your ideas and your research. It is a messy chaotic time of change, and it is great to have the time to lose yourself.

My Ph.D has affected me very deeply. During this process I have been diagnosed with Bipolar, which makes me keener than ever to research groups of women who need help and need a platform for their voices and needs to be addressed. I believe your research chooses you, and there is a list of research ideas that I want to pursue.

I have no special talents, I am just passionately curious. I am not a born academic or particularly clever, I am just curious and fascinated and want to learn and research until the day I die. I cannot wait to share my research with you, hopefully there will be a short film to help disseminate my findings… watch this space!

I always like to connect over at twitter, I am @princessjack . Thank you for reading and supporting my blog, and hopefully soon I will update with news about handing in and getting a job.

Despite the post-Brexit depression about funding and the debates about the REF, the world always needs more thinkers. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given this opportunity, and I hope I can use what I have learned to help women in prison and sex workers inside and outside the prison.

Stay strong and stay curious. x