Ten! Ten! Ten!

This post is brought to you by the number ten.

Ten of what, I hear you ask? Well – ten years of blogging. And 894 posts, counting this one. Not quite two posts a week for all of the ten years, but twice weekly for most of them. And given that most posts are about 1200-1400 words, then we are talking something close to a million words.

I only occasionally stop to think about the sheer volume of stuff on this blog. But I do often wonder about how long I can keep it going, and when it will be time to stop.

I started out thinking that the blog would address aspects of academic writing and research that people often find tricky or hidden. Making the invisible codes and rules of writing and research clearer, if you like. Ten years later that is still my goal. And there’s still more to say.

But ten! Ten years of writing every week. Now, on the 10th anniversary, how to celebrate? Well, rather than offer a list of the most popular posts, as I’ve done before on birthdays, I’d like to go backstage to note what’s behind the public face of the blog.   

PhDers I work with. Working with PHDers keeps the blog real. Some PhDers I supervise, others I meet in workshops and courses. There are also PhDers who just ask a question on the blog or use my university email. I would have run out of things to say long ago if I wasn’t continually in conversation with PhDers and prodded to think about issues and difficulties. Thankyou.

A blogging community. One of the things about blogging is that you build up a network of people who not only have their own blog focus but are also interested in blogging as a practice. This means interesting discussions, as well as sometimes research and joint writing, shared presentations and shared projects. Seeing the blog as an intellectual as well as a writing task helps keep my interest. Thankyou friends.

Academic authors and researchers. I buy a lot of books about writing and research. I have a huge collection of texts. I don’t generally review books per se, so publishers tend not to send them to me. (They do now send me lots of book proposals to review! ) I use my library to develop strategies that have been informed by – or adapted from – other people’s work (and of course when adapted, these are cited). I also keep up to date with journals devoted to academic writing, higher education and research; I’m keen to read the discussions in the various fields and sub-fields. However, patter generally doesn’t report my own research, that’s on other blogs. That’s because Patter doesn’t intend to say anything “new”; the blog’s job is to share useful, research- informed writing and research approaches. So other people’s work indirectly “feeds” the blog. Thankyou.

Blog readers. Like other blogs, patter has subscribers. Most of these are people I do not know. I am not driven by numbers, although they do perhaps suggest that some people find the regular posts helpful. I’m very grateful for your/their support. But I am also very grateful for people who let me know that the blog is useful to their work, either in their own PhDs or in supervision. This kind of feedback really does keep the blogging juices flowing. Thankyou.

The platform. This is a wordpress site. When I began the blog patter was a state of the art “theme”. It’s now sadly out of date and some of my pages are not easy to revise, even though they really need it. At some point fairly soon I’ll need to change over to a new theme that is compatible with the new wordpress editor. I’ll just need a few weeks or so to sort everything – having consistent badging across the blog and other social media does mean there’s quite a lot of fiddling beyond the blog to do. But wordpress has served patter well, and the several other blogs that I run. 

Sunday mornings. I nearly always write blog posts on Sunday mornings. After breakfast, my partner takes the dog for a long walk and I turn on some music and turn out some words. I revise the post during the day, and usually again first thing on Monday morning before it publishes. Routine is the way I’ve kept patter going. I am envious of bloggers who have loads of posts scheduled in advance, who have a spread sheet of what they’ve already written about, and/or who have taken the time to organise their archives properly. This will probably never be me! But as long as I have Sunday mornings I can find the time to maintain bloggage.

So there is it is. Here it is. Ten. Ten years of writing and posting. Ten percent of a century gone to bloggery.

Photos by Adrian CurielClaudio Schwarz  Fritz Benning and  Markus Spiske on Unsplash

About pat thomson

Pat Thomson is Professor of Education in the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK
This entry was posted in academic blogging, academic writing, blogging, blogging about blogging, sustaining blogging and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Ten! Ten! Ten!




  2. Christopher Chevalier says:

    Many thanks Pat for your extraordinary contribution over 10 years, sacrificing your Sunday mornings, and helping so many of us on the long and arduous journey to completing the thesis. I finally got there this year after seven years but I’ll still keep reading your blogs, as long as you keep writing them :).


  3. Many congratulations to you. And to us who are here to receive these words.

    Nara x


  4. Susan van Schalkwyk says:

    Thank you, Pat. Ten years of writing wisdom, prompts, ideas, reflections – all much appreciated. Here’s to the next ten!


  5. Brian Maregedze says:

    Congrats for reaching 10 years consistently blogging! You’re indeed an inspiration to many bloggers around the world, myself included of course.


  6. TMDF says:

    Congratulations and thank you. Your blog is invaluable for scholars and students alike.


  7. Pauline McGonagle says:

    Many congratulations on your 10 years. 10/10 for their helpfulness and for your generosity.


  8. Happy 10th year anniversary. I loved how honest you were about your organisational skills. I often subject myself to complicated systems only to find that I would have achieved more only just by keeping things simple. Thank you also for showing me that being consistent is the way to go, as 10 years is a very long time.


  9. Congratulations on such achievement! I appreciate the dedication you put into ‘patter’. I started reading it as a PhD student and continued as a postdoctoral fellow, and now as a lecturer. These writings have been a helpful companion in my academic trajectory. Thank you!


  10. Lisa Jack says:

    Your Blog was my best find last year! Many thanks.


  11. Elizabeth Mathews says:

    I’m not a Ph.D. student, nor am I a supervisor, and I don’t have a Ph.D., but I teach in a university and I write articles in my field, and I find your posts so helpful. One of the few posts I follow and read regularly. And so I reckon I would be interested in your other blogs, too, if there is a way I could see them? Thank you for these ten years!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sevda says:

    What an achievement! I am impressed with your commitment. Congratulations. I find it very useful to read your blogs. I would love to hear from you about ‘how you sustained your commitment throughout ten years.’ Woo ho!


  13. Catherine J says:

    Wow!! 10 years! I just celebrated 8 years on my blog.


  14. Helen Abbott says:

    Time and again I find myself looking through your posts and invariable finding practical tips and words of wisdom that help me on my PhD journey. I can’t express how useful this is. Thank you for your dedication and congratulations on ten years!


  15. bmgrant2013 says:

    Congratulations Pat – your blogs are full of the good oil, including some happily quirky bits. I’m always finding interesting and helpful things there for my doc writing group… also been going for 10 years (tho’ not with the same people, you’ll be pleased to know!).

    Kia kotahi, tapatahi tatou / Let us all unite together side by side.

    Barbara Grant | Associate Professor & Joint Head of School | School of Critical Studies in Education/Te Kura o te Kōtuinga Akoranga Mātauranga | Faculty of Education and Social Work/Te Kura Akoranga me Te Tauwhiro Tangata | The University of Auckland/Te Whare Wānanga o Tamaki Makaurau | Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, Aotearoa/New Zealand | Tel: +64 9 3737 599, ext 48272 | Fax: +64 9 623 8836 | Office: N306 | http://www.education.auckland.ac.nz/people/profile/bm-grant

    From: patter
    Reply-To: patter
    Date: Monday, 12 July 2021 at 7:32 PM
    To: Barbara Grant
    Subject: [New post] Ten! Ten! Ten!

    pat thomson posted: ” This post is brought to you by the number ten. Ten of what, I hear you ask? Well – ten years of blogging. And 894 posts, counting this one. Not quite two posts a week for all of the ten years, but twice weekly for most of them. And given that most”


  16. Catherine says:

    Congratulations on reaching such an Anniversary. It takes much commitment and dedication to keep going writing such education, informative and interesting pieces. Long may it continue and wishing you the best of luck in organising a new blog theme. Must admit that I’m finding the new WordPress editor is more finicky to use – despite them saying otherwise.


  17. Marthie Kemp says:

    Congratulations on a job well done! I really enjoy reading your blog, and recommend it to all my students.


  18. leohavemann says:

    Congratulations Pat, and thank you, as a current PhD student and one-time academic writing tutor, I can attest that you (should) never stop thinking and learning about writing and its relationship with research and reflection, and I have learned so much from your excellent blog.


  19. Ciaran Sugrue says:

    Congrats Patter on your 10th anniversary. Always informative, insightful, and I have certainly benefited from being on the list, as have many of my students. Many thanks; long may it continue even if it has to be technologically adapted!


  20. Congratulations on Patter. What a tremendous accomplishment. I look forward to your blogs. Please keep up your blogging practice. Thank you!!


  21. Carmel says:

    My PhD supervisor recently recommend that I read your blog and I think you’ve changed my PhD life! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us in such an accessible and thought-provoking way.


  22. Ann DeChenne says:

    I just found this blog 9/16/21 and am SO EXCITED! I also just finished reading Helping Doctoral Students Write. It was recommended by a kind professor across the world from me who discovered that I have a hands off chair person in my program and no other supervisor to guide me. I read the book and it was like a life preserver. I learned so much. I can’t wait to explore your blog. I hope you never wonder if you are making a difference because you certainly have with me. Thank you again and again and again.


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