Keep calm and just write


I know I haven’t been writing much here and I feel so bad every time I visit my own blog. Seeing that my blog’s stats still continue to increase makes me feel even more guilty for not sharing any new or interesting topics. To be honest, I really have a lot to share, especially after a year in academia with so much that I have learned and experimented. I have used my new found autonomy as a lecturer to try new teaching and learning tools as I conduct my courses. That experience alone is worth sharing but I just don’t know where to start writing about it.

Anyway, I hope with this post, I will be able to start writing and sharing again. With the semester ended and while I’m doing my marking of examination scripts, I hope I can write bits and pieces soon. I hope your writing is doing much better than mine. Let’s us keep calm and just write… 

Make it works

It’s not always a good day but when it is, I feel so energetic and motivated to do a lot more. Although I may only work on tasks that are not considered writing, it’s still required tasks for whatever I want to achieve. Crossing out tasks from my list does always make me feel good. Sometimes it’s really hard with a hectic working day in the office (so not much time for writing) and most of the tasks for the day are office work related but I know too well that everything’s possible if you are determined. I just need to find my determination and motivation back in order to achieve my writing goals.

And I found them in my new gadget 😛


It’s my new Rapoo’s Bluetooth headset for my iPhone. It comes with microphone so now I can listen to my favorite songs and answer calls too when they come. Of course, it’s at least a bit blue. Now I have more reasons to be more productive (I hope!). I already felt being more productive using this headset since yesterday. Haha!

So if you think your days are not as good as you hope for your productivity, try something new today. It can be anything you like; be it a new gadget, a good walk, a nap, and etc. It will definitely help, I promise you! Most importantly, just keep going and stay motivated!

#FollowFriday #2

I have wanted to write this second #FF months ago but never get to it. I sincerely share this #FF today because these people are great inspiration to my #Acwri (academic writing). I hope you will follow them (if you haven’t already) and find great inspiration as well in your writing.

@ThomsonPatDr Pat Thomson is the most resourceful person when it comes to writing. She always shares great advice, useful tips and insights about writing. A must follow if you want to improve your academic writing.

@gradschoolninjaProf Susan Nance is another great person who always inspire (with lots of great advice/tips) to become a better writer and better graduate ninja – the only way to survive graduate school 😛

@tanyagolashbozaProf Tanya is the author behind Get A Life, PhD. I have been following her blog since the beginning of the year and found her posts so inspiring and motivating that have become my resources to actually keep myself pushing forward and complete my dissertation. I just realized while writing this post that I didn’t follow her on Twitter. I have clicked Follow as I write.

@thesiswhispererDr Inger Mewburn is quite famous among the academic tweeps. I first followed her blog (quite early during my journey) to get insights about writing or rather get writing started. Now her blog provides various advice about everything academia.

That’s all for today’s Follow Friday. Hope you have a great weekend ahead.

Inspiration: The writing environment

The one thing I’d love to have when I was writing my dissertation was a comfortable writing environment. Imagine the number of hours one spends during the writing process, getting comfortable will definitely inspire the writing process and eventually improve one’s productivity.

I came across this photo in my Pinterest and it’s become my inspiration of my future writing desk at home. If only I can get a nice window’s view around the house, I’d be very happy to write…forever. Hehe!

There are more nice photos and great tips in the author’s blog post on 10 tips for your home office. I can just look at the photos for a long time and imagine getting my own one day 😛

The Successful Ingredients for Completing a Dissertation

While I’m waiting for concluding the final submission of my dissertation, I’m spending my break time writing guest blog posts. My first guest blog post was published yesterday here. It’s really an honor working together with Gradshare‘s editor, Devin McGinty on my post. It’s more fun writing guest posts than writing chapters or journal article. Haha! When Devin posted to invite graduate students to become guest bloggers for the site, I was excited to try. I’ve been following Gradshare’s updates since I began my dissertation and I’ve benefited a lot from that site. I thought it’s time for me to contribute back some sharing and help others.

On that blog post, I share about my reflection on completing my dissertation and what actually drives me to such success. I hope my sharing can inspire many as nothing is impossible if you really want to succeed. Do read my post and tell me what you think.

I’ve also written another post for PhDPublished that will be published next week. I’m looking forward to write more if I’m given more chances. I can’t believe I’m actually more productive in writing when there’s no due date for submission. Haha! Anyway, hope you’ll stay tuned for more of my guest blog posts soon 🙂

Importance of 3 months notice before submission

Dear Postgraduate Research Students,

The Importance of ‘Three Months Notice Before Submission


Greetings from the Institute for Graduate Students, University of Malaya!

Welcome to the second semester of session 2011/2012. I hope everything is fine with your postgraduate studies and you are progressing well in your research.

I would like to remind research students to submit their ‘three months notice before submission’ early to avoid delay in the examination process of your thesis/dissertation. If you are not able to submit within the three months, please appeal for a three months extension. During this period, your respective faculties will process the appointment of your examiners.

You are strong advised to submit your thesis/dissertation for examination by the end of April if you wish to convoke in October this year. This is to take into account the examination process which would normally take between two to four months.

You are also strongly advised to plan the preparation and submission of your thesis/dissertation with your supervisor(s) to ensure timely completion of your postgraduate training.

With best wishes,


Institute for Graduate Studies

Received this email today. I’m ecstatic that there’s still hope to graduate this year. This is great motivation for me to complete the manuscript by end of this month, which will leave me enough time for editing in the next month. I’m sure there will be editing to do after I submit to my supervisor and before the submission to examiners. Time to work extra hard…

Yes, I can do it!


I read recently that gratification is very important especially to those who have been or will be in this dissertation journey for a period of time. Apparently, procrastination only arises when you don’t get appropriate gratification. No point in working so hard to achieve some milestones where you don’t get the just reward that you desire immediately. That only results into further procrastination because you don’t have the reward as motivation to push you forward.

Of course, the ultimate reward for completing a dissertation cannot be reached easily in a short period of time. To keep myself moving forward, it’s important I give myself the reward no matter how small or big along the way. When I finished my chapter 2 and 3 (I know it’s not a very big deal but I did put a lot of effort into them), I gave myself some break from writing and I spent some time watching movies with my hubby. When I finished presenting in the symposium, I had a great outing with the family on one weekend and more movies time at home. Hehe!

For completing my first paper (though I still have quite a bit editing to do before I’m satisfied to submit it to my supervisor), I have an upcoming  short trip planned since June. I promised myself to enjoy this short getaway if I achieved my milestones. Consider that I’m already halfway through this journey, I can finally see the end. My submission target is by end of this year or early next year.

Regardless, I’m still reading more articles for more new ideas and inspiration for my writing. Most probably I would have to change some point of views in my chapters. Cite more new sources. There is probably no official finish line for literature review, I tell you. In the mean time, I take time to write blog post as one of my gratifications. I just enjoy writing and sharing. It helps me keeping the motion of writing.

So, have you rewarded yourself lately after achieving some milestones? Don’t wait. Take a break and refresh the mind.