From the Pubs and Pubs committee |
Pursuing a PhD can sometimes feel overwhelming. Not only are we required to conduct an independent research project that makes an original contribution to our field, but we also typically find ourselves doing a host of other things like teaching, organising conferences, writing articles, and sitting on departmental committees. And that’s not to mention those of us who take on part-time jobs to supplement our stipends (if you’re lucky enough to get one).
So, with all that going on, why would PhD students take on a further responsibility like writing for a website for other PhD students? In this week’s post, our committee addresses that very question, as we ask ourselves ‘why do we write for Pubs and Pubs?’.
While we generate a lot of the content on this site, which we hope in some small way helps alleviate the stresses and anxiety many of us experience during the PhD, we are also always looking for guest writers – so if you have an idea for a blog post that is related to your experiences as a PhD candidate please get in touch via email@example.com or via our Facebook page or Twitter account.
So, why do we write for Pubs and Pubs?
Laura Harrison, Publicity Editor.
Why I blog seems to change each time I do it. Sometimes it is to give advice I hope will help others, other times it is to have a bit of a laugh. Most of the time it is a sort of public therapy session. One of my favourite things about blogging for Pubs and Publications is the audience’s acceptance of a wide variety of types of posts, so you are free to explore whatever topic is on your mind in that moment.
Sophie Almond, Content Editor.
I blog to feel a part of the wider PhD community. Blogging allows me to share my research, thoughts, and ideas with people from across the country (and the globe!). This virtual interaction takes me out of my study and helps me to make connections with people I wouldn’t have otherwise come across face to face. I love using Twitter for the same reasons, real and meaningful connections can be made by utilising different forms of social media. Blogging helps me feel part of the bigger picture!
Tim Galsworthy, Topical Editor.
It might seem obvious, but the main reason I blog is to write. I am only in my second term as a History PhD student, but I’ve already learnt that an awful lot of writing is involved. An awful lot! Blogging for Pubs and Publications gives me the opportunity to write frequently and consistently. It forces me to pull myself away from reading and research, and put pen to paper – well, finger to keypad – and write. This ability to produce written work, to a deadline, has already proved invaluable. Moreover, blogging for Pubs and Pubs affords me a vehicle to write about something other than my PhD. Producing posts on a divergent array of topical issues allows me to move away from my narrow doctoral niche, look at the beautiful (and terrifying) world around me, and distil my thoughts. In summary – to paraphrase Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign strategy – “It’s the writing, stupid!”
Ian MacNeill, Publicity Editor.
I was drawn to writing for Pubs and Pubs because of my experience of having to take an unexpected 6 month break from my PhD (which you can read about here). I wanted to share my experience both as a form of catharsis to help me process what happened and I thought that doing so might benefit other people who find themselves having to stop their studies unexpectedly. Writing about the PhD journey has helped me take a step back from my own research and take a broader perspective on what it means to pursue a PhD while reflecting on some of the peaks and troughs we experience while doing so. I’ve also found that writing in a shorter format has helped with my own academic writing. I used to be crippled by anxiety about my writing and would put it off until the last possible minute. Whereas now I am much more comfortable with my writing having developed it through writing for Pubs and Pubs and (whisper it) other blogs too. I would urge all PhD students to consider blogging, either for your own blog or as a contributor to already existing sites: doing so can really help with mastering brevity and clarity of expression in your academic writing.
So, dear readers, that is why we write for Pubs and Pubs. We would love to hear from some of you about why you write for blogs or for other non-academic purposes. Please let us know in the comments below or via one of our social media accounts.