Major corrections - run out of energy to finish


Hi all,

I was given major corrections (6 months) in July after a very long writing process. I ended up going part time on my PhD quite late in the day, and working almost full time, as I found the process of writing up so isolating and difficult. I constantly ran out of motivation to write, and was so relieved to have submitted. I know many people are in worse situations post-viva, but to receive majors (after a pretty humiliating viva...) was painful and very exhausting. I'm now full time in quite an intense job and am trying to complete the corrections at the weekends. I feel the whole process has been unsupportive and elements of the critique of my thesis seem not very constructive, and quite pedantic. Whenever I look at the list of corrections I feel down and lose confidence in myself and my writing. I have no energy to continue with this and am genuinely considering walking away from the whole process (and academia) for the sake of my own wellbeing. It will take me most weekends between now and Christmas to get this done - I just don't think I can cope with that. Has anyone had a similar experience?

Wishing everyone else trying to get through this process lots of luck!


Hey CJ1290,

I hear you. I understand your situation because I was in the same position this year February. I passed my viva but was given major corrections for six months and my supervisor is extremely unsupportive. So, I know how you feel every time you look at your thesis and list of corrections.

But the good news is you'll get through this. I completed and submitted my major corrections last month and now waiting to hear back from the committee. So, what I want to say is you can definitely do this. I would suggest to not walk away as this is your work and you deserve a PhD that's why they gave you another opportunity.

So, for me what helped was talking to University Counselling services and getting a counsellor who was basically my accountability check. I was given a list of corrections by my examiners. So, I made a plan as to when and how I am going to incorporate these corrections. In fact broke it down to several small tasks spread through the week. At the end of the week, I met with my counsellor to update them about what I could achieve and what I couldn't. I also discussed any issues that bothered me. It really, really helped.

Also, please do not isolate yourself - keep in touch with people who understand this, your closest friends without judgement. When I felt low, this forum helped me a lot - I read about other people who were in the same situation and that really helped. Please see this post - it really boosted my confidence.

You can do this. If I can, then you can. You have come this far, please do not give up.
Good luck!

Avatar for BugsBunny

I can imagine it is exhausting psychologically but think of all you have achieved. Break it down into chunks and give yourself a tick for each bit done and try to detach emotionally, i.e. not get upset every time you have to complete a bit more and you'll get them done and never look back.


Thanks to those have responded, I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and empathise. This is really helpful to hear. I have made quite a detailed plan breaking down the work week by week. I still feel very daunted (and exhausted) by it but at least I can visually see that it is achievable. I do also have a therapist who is going to help me with accountability for each of the little milestones.

I'm still really struggling with personal anger and frustration at having to go through this process whilst working full time. There seems to be an assumption within academia that we're able to spend 6 months fully dedicated to the corrections. It would be so much easier if that were possible, but obviously like most people I've got bills to pay. I just feel very frustrated that this outcome essentially condemns me to dedicating the vast majority of my free time to the thesis (yet again!). Oh well, only a few months left of this I hope...


There seems to be an assumption within academia that we're able to spend 6 months fully dedicated to the corrections. It would be so much easier if that were possible, but obviously like most people I've got bills to pay.

I'm a bit surprised at this; what I've heard from colleagues in my dept who've gone through the process is that corrections time is given according to a recognition that you have other things to do, i.e. that you'll probably be working full time. I know several people who've had 6 months corrections, and it's always been '6 months in which to do your corrections' rather than '6 months' worth of corrections'. Have you been able to speak to anybody in a bit more detail about this? Is there a possibility that you have overestimated the amount of work that needs to be done, or that it's been overstated to you? I don't mean to question your assessment of course, just exploring options. 6 months corrections is a perfectly normal outcome, it's still a passed viva and as such it's a laudable achievement, and of the exact same 'worth' as 4 weeks or even no corrections. It is absolutely not worth quitting academia over, you have done extremely well.

For what it's worth, my viva is tomorrow and I'll be content with 6 months corrections - it's honestly a big achievement.