Are you about to start your PhD thesis, or have you already been writing for some time? This page contains advice which Progress your PhD thinks will really help you succeed.

The thesis whisperer

Inger Mewburn’s The Thesis Whisperer blog should be on any PhD’s radar. No other place offers this much information (and motivation) about everything related to the PhD process. There are blogs about many topics, ranging from how to increase your writing productivity to creating and maintaining an (academic) network. You can also download the The Thesis Whisperer blackline master series. These downloads contain material Mewburn uses in her workshops with research students. They are freely available under the creative commens share a-like attribution license.

Do you prefer hardcopy information? Mewburn’s 2017 book How to be an Academic – The thesis whisperer reveals all describes it all.

Progress your PhD supports The Thesis Whisperer by being a Patreon.

The 15 Minute/Day Academic Writing Challenge

Writing is something that you need to practice, which is why Jo Van Every created this challenge. Start the day with 15 minutes of practice and build up a sublime endurance as an academic writer.

This is what she has to say about it:

“This challenge is for anyone who is struggling to do any research and scholarly writing during teaching terms. (…) It is also useful for those who are finding some time to write but not enough to build any momentum. Maybe you write once a week, or find a day or two a few times a term. But each time you come back to your writing you have to find your way back in. You are making progress but it feels really slow. You can use the 15 minute challenge to connect those longer, but less frequent, writing sessions.”

These two books can also help:

Joli Jensen (2017) Write No Matter What – Advice for Academics. And if you manage to write, but your feedback does not reflect the time you put into it… Inger Mewburn’s 2018 book How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble could be just what you need.


Distractions come in many forms and shapes, especially when you have to write a thesis. These distractions make the writing process slower and more difficult. Cal Newport’s 2016 book Deep Work: Rules for Focussed Success in a Distracted World gives many lifehacks for keeping your focus and increasing your productivity.

If you don’t have time to read, this visual summary has your back. If you need an overview of the choices you need to make to keep your focus, check out this link. Of course, you could also install the Forest App, that’ll definitely keep you off your phone. Or use Cold Turkey, the toughest website blocker of the internet, for your browser.


And what if you just suffer from procrastination, like so many others? Read this book by Brian Tracy (2017): Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Things Done in Less Time.

growth mindset

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,”

wrote the American professor Carol Dweck from Stanford University in her book Mindset (2017). She discovered that there are two types of mindsets: The fixed and the growth mindsets. Someone with a fixed mindset assumes that intelligence is set. As a result, this person avoids challenges and effort, throws the towel when facing setbacks, ignores feedback, and sees other people’s success as a threat. This mindset leaves little room for personal growth. Someone with a growth mindset, on the other hand, embraces challenges, perseveres after encountering setbacks, sees effort as a part of the deal, is open to feedback, and is inspired by others’ successes. They make use of their potential, dare to learn, and as a result keep performing better and better. This is super useful when you’re writing your thesis!

Carol Dweck explains how to activate your growth mindset in this TedTalk, which will help you enjoy working on your thesis.

introduction to dutch

International students and professionals who are interested in the Netherlands can now register for the free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Introduction to Dutch, available world-wide on

This MOOC, which was developed by the University of Groningen Language Centre, is aimed at prospective students and staff of the University, international professionals who intend to live and work in the Netherlands and people from other countries with an interest in the Dutch language. The course introduces participants to the basics of the Dutch language, and gives background information on the city of Groningen, the University of Groningen and the region as a whole.

Other interesting, useful (or entertaining) links:
Currently reading

To get you inspired, I share with you my current readings (or TBR): Glennon Doyle – Untamed.

For further readings, check out my list at BookBucket.

visual inspiration