I like zines! Small publications, often made with passion, often made because the creator has to make them once they’ve had the idea. I got interested through role-playing games zines. I made some in that area before I made The Viva Prep Handbook and The tiny book of viva prep.
A zine is a good small project: you have an idea for something that you want to exist and a series of problems to solve to make it real. Everything from content curation through to publishing is an interesting, stretching little challenge. You can learn a lot by making a zine.
For some researchers, a PhD thesis is like a really big zine – you make it because you have to, you have an itch that has to be scratched, a drive to make something that wasn’t there before (and you do nearly all of the work yourself!).
And I have a hunch that making a zine about your thesis could be a really interesting way to prepare for the viva – and share something about your research with others! Not a paper, not “just” an introduction, but a meaningful beginner’s guide maybe. I need to think about this more. There might be some future posts on this topic, but if you decide to play with the idea in the mean time, let me know.
Finally, I have a new zine project that I hope to share in the next few months, so watch this space!