Signup date: 07 Jul 2008 at 9:08am
Last login: 05 Jul 2010 at 2:38pm
Post count: 428
I have various friends who did PhDs in creative writing. There are some very good courses in the UK but without a background in English lit. for the theoretical side and without previous publishing experience (poetry or short stories, for example) I wouldn't have thought a PhD was the best way of going about things. Creative writing PhDs are difficult to find funding for and I've known people fail too. However, try contacting some courses and finding out about their requirements. You'll almost certainly have to produce pieces of creative writing for the application so if you aren't writing already you need to start finding out whether you can. Reading extensively in modern fiction will also benefit you in knowing about what's already out there, styles you like and how your work will be different from the many many novels on the market.
I do tutoring as well but if that's not your thing then friends of mine (and I, briefly) work for TakeNote typing. They send you audio files for typing up, mainly marketing interviews, research and things like that. You need to be pretty quick to make it worthwhile but it's good for flexibility.
Hi Pamplemousse - I'm afraid I have no advice on this one, just wanted to say great news about your baby! :-)
Hugs on their way. Sorry to hear you're struggling so much. An extension might be the answer but sometimes it can be better to muddle on through, do the best you're able to and know you can come back to it later. If you can get through this week and get it in, perhaps there'll be a few fewer things to keep you awake next week. I would definitely drop a quick line to your supervisor though, just so that he/she knows the circumstances. Good luck and hope you feel better soon. :-)
It's brilliant to know that you're getting back on your feet. You need to go straight up the ladder on this one - you had time off due to illness but that is not a reason for you to be left without supervision. Contact your director of grad research and head of dept, as well as the appropriate support services to tell them what's going on. You need to show that you're keen to get back on track and that with support you intend to try to submit in time. Outline perhaps where you're at with work and how you intend to get things done in the time available. Also, you need to clarify the distinction between an extension and a suspension: if you suspend with illness you should not be expected to work during that time and the extension would be because of the time you lost before you suspended. The dept will want you submit because it's bad for them to have unfinished PhDs on their records. Make your voice heard in a positive way and people will be positive about the fact that you're recovering. Best of luck. xx
I did the actual writing up (ie. I'd researched and had a plan but the ideas were still mainly in my head) at the rate of 1000 words minimum a day for my MA dissertation, then a few more days for redrafting. That was 20,000 words so you could probably do more per day in a short intensive burst to get 10,000 written. I still have this approach now but it would take me longer as the PhD is much more in depth and there are more new ideas. However, I tend to find that the writing is pretty quick once it's all up in my head so I would get yourself to that stage and then have an intensive writing period followed by a few days to rewrite and touch up. Definitely do-able I reckon!
Your supervisor obviously has faith in you so that ought to add to your confidence! What I learnt the last time I gave a paper (fortunately at a PG conference) is don't try to present with a terrible hangover. The words in front of you are better if they don't swim! I'd stayed with friends I'd not seen for ages and we had a terrific boozy dinner that didn't seem like such a great idea the next day... Fortunately it went fine and I got good feedback but never again! :$
I was under the impression that most universities require you to have two supervisors, at least nominally. I have a primary and a secondary and they've only clashed once! The secondary only really reads drafts and stuff but we have all met up together and it can be very useful to have another opinion.
I'm doing a full-time PhD in humanities and I'm about an hour away from my university which is very manageable. I wouldn't want to be much further away as it would prevent me being able to go in to teach and attend classes, research seminars etc without spending a lot of time and money in travel. From a research perspective definitely very helpful to be in London but you might want to consider realistically how often you'll need to go in: ask your prospective supervisors how often they'd want to see you in person, and anything else they'd want you to attend. We have research training sessions and I sit in on some classes (there are certain things we said I'd learn in my funding application which are generally useful for the subject, eg. languages). There's also a dept requirement to attend weekly research seminars and I try to get to as many of these as possible. Some depts also have a requirement that you live a certain distance from the uni in your first year but I don't know if this applies to Birmingham or if they would be more flexible if you're p/t. I don't want to put you off as I certainly think it's manageable, just thought you'd like to know what sort of things you might need to consider! :-)
Hi Spandangle - I think different disciplines affect how often you'll be on campus. I'm in humanities working on ancient literature and I work mainly from home except for teaching and attending classes, going in only about 3 times a week and only in term time. Most of those days it's only for a few hours or so. On top of this there's obviously library time but as that can be as flexible as you want it's reasonable that you should be able to time most things around your daughter. I take about the same amount of holiday as my fiancé who is in an office job, but I do know people who don't do PhD work over the summer, for example, because they're doing other subject-related things. Provided you can really put in the time during school terms and perhaps some evenings/weekends over the school holidays to keep things ticking over, it sounds very reasonable and plenty of people successfully juggle the two! Good luck with your applications!
Be thankful you've got all this lovely hair too! My fiancé is receding and spends a lot of his time examining and sighing at the two triangles on either side of his crown where hair used to be... These days he just has it very short all over to avoid it looking too thin - saves him having to purchase hair products I suppose but I'm thinking of learning to cut it for him to save the regular trips to the barber! :-) (Soon he will look like this smiley face I suppose...)
I would go to a hairdresser - ie. a unisex place where the people are stylists rather than barbers. This is what a couple of men I've known have done. Most seemingly women's hairdressers will also cut men. Maybe get a recommendation from a female friend or something. The stylist will talk you through the best option for your hair and show you some possible pictures etc. Then when it's done, get photos taken and you should be able to go to a barber or somewhere cheaper the next time as they'll be trimming rather than restyling. The price may be a shock after your £7.50 shearing but it's worth it for a good restyle!
I'm planning to go grey gracefully - I quite like all the silver developing in the front of my hair but I'm really lucky that it's mostly a nice texture. The problem for many people seems to be that it sticks up rather than the actual colour! I get a few like that but not too many thankfully. I'm 23 and I've had greys for about 5 years, though it's not really developing fast now plus it's mainly underneath my brown hair. My mother went grey very young (gorgeous silvery grey too so I'm hoping mine might end up like that...) so I rather expected to be more grey by now as our hair is very similar. On the other hand my father went bald very young so I'm definitely happier with the greys! I've had my hair every length under the sun! I tend to have it shorter when I'm slimmer then grow it out until I get bored then hack it all off again. I liked looking a bit different with a spiky pixie crop (although anyone thinking of getting it done beware of over-enthusiastic hairdressers who create the hedgehog look, or getting the back wrong so that it grows into a mullet...) but at the moment I have a bob with a side parting which I'm enjoying at the moment. My OH thinks long hair is nicer but he seems happy with the bob so I might keep it like this for a while until, doubtless, I'll get bored and change it again!
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