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Thread: PhD goals, hopes and dreams.

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Liverpool, UK

    PhD goals, hopes and dreams.

    Hey all. I am a brand new member. Ali, 38 from Liverpool UK.

    I am writing this so I can have a record of it and also in the hope that it will hold me accountable for reaching my goals.

    I am 38 years old and have always been a writer and a reader. But I have never done anything with it. I started a degree in English and Creative Writing in 2002 and left after a year to have a baby and get married. It took me a long, l o n g , time to complete my degree as I had 4 kids, got diagnosed bipolar and with several auto immune diseases BUT via home study I got my BA degree in the summer of 2017. I had taken so long, and barely gave any effort to it as I was so jaded so it was a massive shock when it ended after 15 years. I felt awful for not getting a better grade (2;2). I promised myself I would do better so now I am now doing a full time MA degree in Creative Writing at a red brick University and gaining much better grades.

    It has been totally and utterly life changing for me! Being around other writers in a workshop setting has breathed a whole new vigor into both me and my work and I am churning it out at a rate of knots. I have been so totally transformed by this experience in the last 16 weeks that I am hoping to do my PhD next year and possibly even start teaching at the same university. I am submitting work for publication but only short stories and the like. Being bipolar it has its challenges, I struggle to stick to to timetables for my own work but find it much easier to stick to academic goals where I am submitting to deadlines. So the idea is to use my MA manuscript to secure an agent and then develop it further into a cohesive piece for publication. The same would apply to my final creative piece for my PhD.

    I am finding that it is much easier to have faith in my abilities since I have been around other writers and I am hoping this forum will give me the same sort of buddy group to give and receive the feedback that I have found is so essential, starting now and continuing once my course ends.

  2. #2
    The Wanderer DanielSTJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    This sounds like a great goal! Full sails ahead!

    From my POV, you have had an interesting and intriguing life. Hopefully, you can receive the feedback that you crave as you move forward more and more.

    Here's hoping for the best for you!
    Vivere militare est.

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin anawrite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Wow! You've got quite a story. Thanks so much for sharing. I commend you for your determination and goals!! I'm hoping for the BEST for you!!

  4. #4
    Always Learning
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Hello fantapants.

    It appears you respond well to things laid out for you (timeline-wise), like a detailed syllabus. Maybe you can make such a document for yourself, with your own writing timelines, terms, and conditions.

    I am American. I have a master's in Higher Education Administration. I spent some time learning of last year's Higher Education and Research Act of 2017 (United Kingdom), turning public universities into Higher Education Corporations. At least here, in the US, schools can only hire so many graduates, because of accreditation restrictions; i.e. if they hire too many, they lose state accreditation (and cease to exist). I am not sure if this is an issue in the U.K. or not, but the Act may have changed things (for the worse). In the U.S., PhD programs are very competitive to get into. They look at everything including masters and undergraduate GPAs. I assume it is the same there. Just some items to think about asking before applying to schools (and losing application fees).

    Good luck!



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