|Photo by Lakerain Snake | unsplash.com|
At a recent event, I overheard an aspiring graduate researcher ask a colleague, ‘Is doing a PhD hard?’.
After a little thought, my colleague replied, ‘Yes. It’s really tough and takes more thinking and work than you’d believe, but what’s really hard is if life gets in the way’.
I thought this was a very succinct assessment of what completing a PhD can look like, but also of academic writing more generally.
My writing habits as an early career academic began while I was completing my PhD. I achieved what I had to during the initial twelve months of my PhD journey to be ready for my first milestone, but there was no pattern or regularity to what I was doing.
I was fortunate enough to be lecturing early on in my PhD, which was good for the experience, but not so good for my writing. Teaching meant that some weeks a lot would get done, and some weeks very little would get done if marking or other work duties had to take precedence.
When I reflect on the first year of my PhD, I know I’m quite lucky that period went smoothly. It mostly happened because I was fortunate enough that the good days outweighed the bad.
The turn in my writing habits came in the second year of my PhD.