Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We apologise for this break in transmission.

I’ve been living in glorious Edinburgh for three months now. It’s a magical storybook city and I’ve been enjoying getting lost in its endless winding lanes and side streets.

The first two years of my PhD were spent madly researching, writing, teaching, attending conferences, writing journal articles, and working on several digital humanities side projects. I love my work and I feel very privileged to be undertaking a PhD but I've often stretched myself too thinly in an effort to make the most the experience.

In contrast, I’ve spent the last three months totally immersed in my research project. I’m in Edinburgh on an unofficial writing retreat which has come at the perfect time in my candidature.  It’s the best thing I've ever done. I realise it’s a terrific luxury and it’s one I’ve been trying to make the most of before my return to Perth in September.

The focus and solitude have been wonderful but lately I’ve really missed blogging about my work and connecting with fellow researchers. Especially while following the Australian Historical Association Annual Conference on twitter last week! I hope to be there next year.

As my submission date looms (twelve months to go!) I’m also hoping to post more frequently about my research. It’s starting to take shape which is exciting but it's still an enormous challenge to make sense of such a daunting array of content.

But I get up in the morning, make a cup of tea, sit at my desk, and keep on going. Desperately clinging to the old adage ‘All writing is rewriting’ at the moment. I’m a believer!

My PhD writing survival strategies? Writing in 25 minute bursts, buying flowers for my desk every couple of weeks, working towards small milestones, and taking long afternoon walks around Holyrood park.

Until next time...

Long afternoon walks. A fail-safe cure for writers block.
The view from Arthur's Seat. I can see my house from here!
Glorious Holyrood Park, looking towards Leith.

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