Take Today Off Too (a haiku)

Keep resting, pausing,

Breathing, thinking and holding.

It’s fine for today.


It’s a Bank Holiday in the UK, and following yesterday’s post, I’m encouraging you to take another day off from viva prep, if you’re in a period of actively preparing.

Probably you’re planning to stay home today! But that doesn’t mean you have to prepare for your viva today. Unless your viva is tomorrow – and even then, take it easy. Be rested for the final push, whether it’s a final 24 hours or your last six weeks.

Regular-type posts resume tomorrow!

(and more viva-related haiku here!)

Take Today Off (a haiku)

If you can, please do.

Rest. Breathe. Press pause on your prep.

Smile. Connect. Be.


I wasn’t going to do any more viva haiku in 2020, but this seemed like a good time to remind people – especially now – that preparation for the viva includes taking breaks. If you’re overwhelmed, stretched, stressed and tired then you don’t need to read your thesis more or check a reference. You need a day off.

And probably you can’t take a day “off” – you need to be a family person or a friend or an adult doing housework. You have responsibilities. OK. If you have to do those things, at least take today off from your viva. Just pause it. It’ll be there when you come back, and you will be prepared for your viva when the time comes. Please, if you weren’t going to already, take today off.

(more viva-related haiku here)

A Haiku For Submission

Done? Sort of… Almost.

Hard work done, but still ahead,

One challenge remains.


Submission is a milestone, but not the end of the journey. You’ve done most of the work of your PhD, but there are difficult things to come. If you’ve got as far as writing and completing your thesis then you’re more than capable of preparing for and passing your viva.

(more viva-related haiku here!)

A Haiku About Thesis Corrections

It won’t be perfect.

Accept that, listen, then:

Just get them all done!


There’s always something. “No corrections” means your examiners didn’t see the typos! Nearly everyone is asked to do something to help make their thesis better. Smile, say thank you for the help, get the corrections done and then move on.


(more short viva-related haiku posts here!)

A Haiku About Finishing

Not bad, good or strange…

P-h-Done! Or bittersweet?

How will you feel?


The viva and the end of the PhD can stir up a lot of emotions. You don’t have to feel one thing or another, there’s no right answer or way. But perhaps don’t just let it pass by. Take a minute or two to think about what the end of your PhD means, how you feel and what’s next.

My personal hope for PhD graduates is that they realise they’ve just reached the top of a mountain in finishing their PhD, in passing their viva…

…and when they look around they see higher peaks and greater challenges they might now go after… 🙂


(more occasional haiku here!)