23things, networking, posters, research, Uncategorized, writing

1 out of 12 ain’t bad


More East Sussex views

I appear to have 12 draft blogs sitting in WordPress at various stages of completion, I’ve been busy writing them sometimes but apparently not actually hitting publish! Must do better…

Anyway, I have also been busy writing stuff for my PhD, including two writing retreats. One retreat was very isolated and full of running, napping and walking. I took myself off to a campsite in East Sussex in mid-May and had a lovely time writing and running during the day and then walking to the pub for dinner and a pint or two, chatting to the cute lambs in the field en route. It was sheer bliss. I fell asleep to the sound of owls, slept for at least 10 hours every night, and the campsite chickens came and tried to nick my food. I had some beautiful runs in the countryside, through beech woods and fields, and I didn’t even get very lost! I would love to do this again sometime, it was very productive and I mostly finished planning a paper I’m wanting to write. It was also very calming to escape from the chaos of everyday life.


Beech woods

East Sussex views

The second writing retreat was last weekend and organised by the lovely RDP people at uni. We set goals, wrote for 2 days between 10 and about 4, lunch was provided and dinner on the Saturday night (dinner was delicious and it was great to meet people I’d never otherwise encounter). I did a short run round campus both days to shake the day off and to stay awake on the second day. I planned out my methodology chapter and filled in lots of gaps for my 2 studies so far. It was good to be able to focus on the bigger picture of my PhD, especially as I’m up to my eyeballs in data collection and analysis (the latter being apparently never-ending…) Now the challenge is to keep moving forward on daily writing, so far this has been happening most days unless I’ve had to travel to see participants.

I’ve been feeling very inspired recently, as I’m interviewing participants from my New Year’s resolution study, and getting feedback from them and hearing how they’ve progressed through the last 6 months has been a real privilege. When you’re bogged down in endless data it’s good to remember why I’m doing this: to understand how we can help people become more active (and stay more active).

I’ve also written an abstract for a conference on something a bit random but interesting, and registered for another conference which will need another abstract in August. Gulp, that’s actually quite soon…I haven’t been to many academic events this year, with the exception of a day at a health psychology network, where I presented a poster on initial findings from my resolution study and enjoyed chatting to other PhD students from different universities. Sometimes signing up for these things provides the motivation to prioritise writing, to see what findings you have which are of theoretical or practical benefit, and to get some analyses finished to have something to present. Plus I absolutely love conferences and seminars where you can chat to people and gain different perspectives on your work (particularly as I’m the only person in my department working on physical activity: it gets lonely sometimes!)

I just signed up for another 23 Things online course: 23 Things for Publication, which I’m hoping will be as useful as the previous 23 Things. I have a plan for a paper, but I’ve got a bit stuck on background theory (I think there’s a hole in there somewhere which I need to track down), and knowing where to start with it all has meant it’s been on the back burner for a few months. So somewhere in here I need to juggle writing this paper along with everything else…I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the other participants (even if only virtually) and us all celebrating some progress together! Because cute as they are, lambs aren’t quite as good at being writing companions as people…


Cute lambs



10 thoughts on “1 out of 12 ain’t bad

  1. Your holiday sounds brilliant, as I’m sure your publication will be!

    And I don’t know about lambs not being good writing companions – I think they’d probably do a better job than me writing an article of welding wire. Probably know more than me too.

    1. lol, I’m imagining a lamb in glasses now, bent over a laptop and writing about welding wire 🙂 Though I suspect they would actually probably be nibbling the wire, and your notebook, and possibly even the laptop…

      1. Amazing!

        Ahahaha. I look like a right weirdo sitting at my desk, giggling. I wish it was me.

        That’s what I plan to look like when writing the article. Just need to grow my hair a bit more.

  2. This sounds like a really good idea, going on a personal writing retreat! I knew about the one that the Uni offers but must confess that I really never thought about going on my own. I actually enjoy writing and it usually goes very smoothly for me, but I do have some difficult in concentrating when people are talking around me (even if it is not really loud). I have tried writing at home but then again, there are even more distracting things there !! I’m definitely trying a little retreat trip like you did, soon! Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Have a nice week!

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