Three Years On

Viva Survivors started in 2012 as a podcast, but since April 18th 2017 it’s been a daily blog. Apart from the odd day off for Christmas I’ve published a post every day for three years!

Too much has happened, particularly recently, for me to offer something super-reflective about over one thousand posts, my changing work and practice, and so on, without that post being over nine thousand words long. Instead, let me share the posts that have punctuated the last three years, the beginning and the first two anniversaries:

  • No Accident: the starting point for all of my Viva Survivors musings and one of the core principles for my approach in helping candidates. Simply, it’s impossible to get to submission and the viva “by accident” – you can’t be that lucky. You really have to work to get to submission, and that work carries you through the viva.
  • One Year Later: a short post reflecting on what I’d built up over the course of the first year of the daily blog. I wanted to create resources as well, and while I’ve not been as prolific as I would like, I’m really glad The tiny book of viva prep has been helpful!
  • The Culture Around Vivas: thinking a little about expectations, where they come from, but flipping that to think about candidates too. The more I think about it, the more I think the culture of the viva, candidates and academia more generally is something that could be dug into as a means of help.

Things have changed abruptly in the last few months. The jigsaw of my life has been scattered, and in the absence of a picture to guide me I’m trying to fit the pieces together as well as I can. I’ve found the edges. I can see spaces where some pieces can no longer go. I’m working slowly to find a new picture that fits.

I’m not there yet, but I’m trying. Writing and publishing this blog helps me do that. I hope it helps you too.

I’m very thankful for all the readers, long term and new, who find this blog, subscribe to this blog, share this blog, support this blog and who find something useful here. I’m going to keep writing; I hope you keep reading!

Keep going!