Word cluster

A blog about getting into a writing habit

My name is Francisca Concha-Ramírez and I am a PhD at Leiden Observatory. I do computational astrophysics and I also write a lot, but I want to write better.
This is my personal blog to document my writing up and downs. For my work/CV website, click here.

To learn why I started this blog, and see my writing plan and rules, check out this post.



habits writing planning phd-life hobonichi-techo writing-plan working work-life-balance outreach life travel mental-health letters-pre-scientist letters kids holidays anxiety
12 November 2018

Not quite an habit yet

[ working  life  habits  planning  phd-life  ]
I haven’t been to constant with this blog lately, but I have been constant with writing, which is what matters, right? :D I feel like the biggest reason why I haven’t been writing here is because, even though my writing has been consistent since my last update, my writing habit has not been. What I mean with this is that I’ve been writing a lot, and in general doing at least 1 writing block almost every day, but they have been… messy. Since I was away from my office for all of September and the first days of October, when... Keep reading

10 September 2018

Working away from the office

[ working  life  habits  planning  phd-life  travel  ]
Whew! What a few crazy weeks these have been. In less than two weeks I aced my Dutch 2 test (9/10! :D), traveled to Belgium for a wedding, then flew to the US with my boyfriend, who’s now moved to Princeton. Our studio right now consists only of a inflatable bed, a few boxes, and suitcases laying around, but even so we’re making it feel like home (furniture will hopefully arrive by the end of September). More importantly, after the craziness of the pre- and post- trip couple of days, we’re setting our new routines, which means: I’m back to... Keep reading

20 August 2018

Some crazy weeks

[ writing  habits  planning  phd-life  anxiety  mental-health  work-life-balance  hobonichi-techo  ]
The last weeks have been a little crazy, and it will keep being like that for at least a couple more. So I’m going easy on myself, trying not to force myself to do too many things that are not really necessary. During the last couple of weeks I’ve been taking an intensive Dutch course in the mornings, which is taking way more time than I had originally planned for it and I mean WAY more. Who’d think that an intensive course would be this intensive, huh? I had originally planned that I would go to Dutch class in the... Keep reading

05 August 2018

Catching up on past weeks, starting week 5

[ writing  habits  planning  phd-life  holidays  work-life-balance  outreach  hobonichi-techo  ]
Ironically, I’m very behind on updating this blog, but I’m not behind on the rest of my writing! On my previous post, which reviewed my goals for weeks 2 (July 16-22) and 3 (July 23-29) of my personal writing challenge, I had set up a goal of four writing blocks each week. Week 2 was a work week so all of my writing would be for work; week 3 was holidays so I assigned three blocks for my science website and one “free” block which could be a personal thing or outreach. The four work writing blocks of week 2... Keep reading

16 July 2018

Review of week 1 and kicking off week 2

[ writing  habits  planning  phd-life  ]
So the first week of my writing challenge is done! It was a bit harder than I expected, but pretty successful, I would say. This is what my writing tracker looks like now: I did at least half a block every day (except Friday, but I did one on Sunday) which is pretty great! The personal block on Sunday was a letter to a friend. I think the hardest block of this week was the one for my science blog, on Monday. I usually write for my blog when I’m feeling inspired or feel like I have something to say,... Keep reading

11 July 2018

My experience with 'Letters to a Pre-Scientist'

[ letters-pre-scientist  writing  letters  outreach  kids  ]
I was browsing twitter yesterday and noticed that Letters to a Pre-Scientist has started to recruit scientist pen pals for the 2018-2019 school year. Having participed before and loved it, I decided to write a little bit about my experience. Looking through my emails to see when I had participed, I realized it was for the 2015-2016 school year! A long time ago, but hopefully the spirit and experience has not changed much. Letters to a Pre-Scientist (LPS) is a program that connects scientists from all over the world with middle-school students in the United States (I wonder if there... Keep reading

07 July 2018

Kicking off week 1

[ habits  writing  writing-plan  planning  phd-life  hobonichi-techo  ]
The coming week will be the first one of my writing plan, and I’m excited to start! The next two weeks are going to be a bit different from my usual schedule, since I will be Teaching Assistant at the Computational Astrophysics Summer School for undergrad students from Beijing Normal University. I will have to be with the group all through the day from 9h30 to 17h, so my timing will be less flexible than usual. Even so, I managed to make a plan that seems achievable, with four writing blocks for the week (two work ones and two for... Keep reading

27 June 2018

Getting my writing habit back

[ habits  writing  writing-plan  ]
I write a lot. As a 2nd year PhD student, I am dealing with writing my first papers and conference presentations (yes, I count them as writing). I also have a science blog for the general public: I write blog posts, social media posts, and podcast outlines. As part of Astronomy on Tap Leiden I write newsletters, event descriptions, and more social media posts. On top of it, I also keep a personal journal and write occasional letters to friends. Earlier this year I finished writing the first draft of my first ever scientific paper. The process of writing a... Keep reading