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.



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16 July 2018

Review of week 1 and kicking off week 2

[ writing  habits  planning  phd-life  ]

by Francisca Concha-Ramírez

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, but in this case I had nothing and I really had to force myself to keep writing for the hour. I think I spent most of the time deciding on what to write about, and reading interesting articles about different topics. In any case, I wrote down the grand total of 416 words, so I count it as a success! And, in the end, building a writing habit means exactly that: getting used to write when I feel I have nothing to say.

My work blocks were actually not spent writing, but reading papers for my future project. I mentioned in my original post that for work related things, I would consider reading papers to cite as part of the writing process. I made an effort to just read for the whole hour and not get distracted. I’m not sure if I achieved the latter but I definitely did some good reading and took some notes. I also wrote a post for this blog in the middle of the week which I had not planned originally, so, great!

The week after this I’m going to be on holiday, but I do not want to stop writing. I will tweak my plan for this week to do only work blocks, so that during my vacation I can do only personal/science blog blocks. And this week I will be skipping Friday again, but I think four blocks a week is still very reasonable. My plan for the coming two weeks:

Week 2 (July 16-22): Four work blocks
Week 3 (July 23-29): Three science blog blocks, one “free” block

I wanted to add a “personal” block to week three, but I said I would not force myself to write things in the personal category, so for now I’m just leaving it free. I will decide along the way what I devote it to. Also, one of my blocks in week three has to be spent planning my next podcast episode. Since it will be a holiday week I will also not schedule the blocks right away, but I will pencil-in in my planner some topics that I need to handle during each block.

Let’s see how I keep up!

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