I referred someone to my blog today and when I looked at it, it seemed a little unloved. Pretty, but unloved. So I thought I should write an update. The news of the week is that I finished my work so am now solely a PhD student. It feels great - being able to study for more than 2 full days in a row almost seems like a luxury! So advice point 1 to other PhD students: work, but know when to say no more! My supervisor (who was also my boss) has been very supportive. Last week was also the 2 year anniversary of starting my studies and therefore also marked exactly a year until I submit my thesis. I might not submit right on 3 years but the plan is to knuckle down and do everything I can to at least get close. I have too many friends who've ended up out of candidature, out of money (not necessarily their fault), and I don't want to be there.
Study-wise at the moment, I'm bouncing between reading up on Appraisal and Genre, submitting abstracts to conferences, and trying to finish two articles. Not sure that I'll be able to afford to go to the conferences, but gotta put the abstracts in first before I find out. They're also a useful deadline - there's a certain amount of reading and analysis you have to do before you can propose what to write a paper about. So advice point 2: submit abstracts to conferences, even if you end up unable to go.
Which brings me to the articles. I'm writing based on my presentation at 5ICOM (5th International Conference on Multimodality). It as supposed to be one article, but it went too long so I'm trying to turn them into two articles. The writing was surprisingly enjoyable, the refining is a bit of struggle at times. We'll get there in the end. I'm trying to get them into a good enough condition to send them to others for feedback. Again I have friends who have submitted their thesis or are planning to and then write a few articles to get a few publications out on their thesis to improve their chances of getting a job. Or if they have a job lined up, they're trying to juggle writing articles with settling into a new job or even move cities. Advice point 3: write early, if possible!
So that's where I'm at. I've also started a (old-fashioned, handwritten) journal to keep myself accountable to myself. I got a lovely journal for Christmas and momentarily considered writing my thesis in it, but who's going to write a thesis by hand these days? I used to write journals, but stopped when I came back from France as day-to-day life seemed comparatively boring and not worthy of journalling. If there's any time that's worthy of recording, this should be it! And who knows, maybe one day I can do some sort of linguistic analysis on my journalling over the years, or reflect on the thesis-writing process.
That's the beautiful thing about studying linguistics - EVERYTHING is potential data. As I tweeted today - Ouroboros! The self perpetuating, self eating snake. Not sure that analogy is as good as all that, but hopefully you know what I mean.