Are you living on the other side of the world from your university and your supervisors?
Or do you just find it hard to maintain your motivation when you’re not face-to-face with your supervisor?
Do you find it a bit lonely with only the cat for company and critique?
Is your internet connection letting you down so you can’t log into to all those wonderful support sites you’ve find?
Well, your worries are over. I present to you…your very own proxy supervisors!
Stand them on your desk, sit them on a pile of books, make them lean against that cold cup of tea that lives perennially on your desk. No matter what time of day or night, they will be there for you.
If you feel tempted to get up and do something else, one glance at their little faces and you will know what they’re thinking: Is that all you’re going to do? Didn’t you just get started? Are you sure using social media really counts as proper use of your time? Hey, can I have some of that cold tea?
I’ve got my student number and the names of my supervisors (none of whom I’ve met, although they sound fantastic) and my inbox is flooding with emails from the university about all sorts of things, most of which are not very relevant as I’m living on the other side of the world.
It makes me think fondly of those long ago days when I actually went to classes and university was a lifestyle, one that I think I very much took for granted at the time; youth is wasted on the young, heh??
It is, of course, entirely possible to write without doing it as part of a degree, but for me, writing about somewhere so far away from where I live now and so long ago, it’s a relief to feel as if I’m part of something much bigger. It’s still just me, the cat and my desk (plus my music students, the washing, my family etc etc), but at least now there’ll be someone else setting some deadlines and telling me where I’ve gone wrong and right.
But where to start?
The smart thing seemed to be to find out how other people were doing it. Straight away I found this site: creativewriterphd
Not only does she write about her own experiences doing a Phd and struggling with trying to write both fiction and something theoretical at the same time, but the writer also links to some fantastic resources and sites.
It’s funny how reading about someone else doing the same thing as you can be so encouraging. I’ve also really appreciated the links to other sites and organisations. I might be Australian but almost eleven years out of the country mean that I’m more of a foreigner than I thought when it comes to what’s happening and especially when it comes to the academic world.
Maybe it’s not so unbelievable that I can do it too, after all…