I am just concluding my first year report on the PhD. I’m happy with it, and feel I have made big progress this year. So far, so good.
However, in parallel I have been re-reading some of the papers that I raced through earlier in the year. Having written my first year report, I see how much depth, detail and nuance I have missed out. I have time to address this, and plan to, but it took me by surprise. Feeling smug at having completed something well, I was was taken aback when I suddenly realized how much better it can be.
Part of this is self-criticism: I am always harder on myself than others. That’s just me. However, in the discovery process that is my doctoral research, I’m realizing that detailed study reveals layers of insight and you have to work hard at it to make progress. I feel that after a year, I’m just starting.