19 January 2013

Write it right

“When I first skimmed through that, I thought it actually wasn’t that bad, but when I then read it properly I realised it was shit after all!” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that quote of my second PhD supervisor. I had given him a draft chapter of my thesis, and this was his reply. Of course he came with more detailed, and more constructive, feedback later. I remember the slow and frustrating writing process: the endless bouncing to and fro of draft versions. I’m not one to whom scientific writing came naturally. I got there, in the end, as evidenced by my finished and approved thesis (and a bunch of publications), but it took a while. 

And now, many years later, I’m on the other side of the table. I am the fourth supervisor (only two of us do the bulk of the writing supervision) of the inimitable Rob, and he’s reached the writing up stage. And I’m afraid to say it doesn’t come naturally to him either. So there is a lot of bouncing to and fro of drafts… and I can see that for Rob it is also a frustrating process. But I’m sure he’ll pull through as well! And then the circle is nicely round…

No comments: