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Information and education about psychology, gender, and trauma.

Advice and reflections on writing, research, and life in academia. 

Posts written by Dr. Jem Tosh and Dr. Lucy Thompson. 

Is your New Year's resolution to write a book?

by Dr. Jem Tosh



Writing books is my favourite part of my job. It's why I have written and published three books in six years (with four more on the way!) and why I eventually set up my own publishing company.


The most frequent reason I get from those who haven't taken the leap yet is fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of criticism...

Whether it's that novel that you've been thinking about for years, finally publishing your PhD thesis, or a compilation of your life's work - it's common for people to dream about writing a book, but less common for that dream to become a reality.


The most frequent reason I get from those who haven't taken the leap yet is fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of criticism... The list goes on.


I have a little blue sign on my desk that I see every time I sit down to start my work. It says, 'Do it because they said you couldn't'. Let all that criticism and doubt from others fuel your determination to achieve your dream.

Often they've been told over the years that they are not good enough. Either from parents when growing up, school teachers, or from the constant barrage of critique from within academia. It can be easy to begin to believe that you can't write a book because others have been telling you that 'you can't' do things your whole life.


Don't let it stop you.


I have a little blue sign on my desk that I see every time I sit down to start my work. It says, 'Do it because they said you couldn't'. Let all that criticism and doubt from others fuel your determination to achieve your dream. Prove them wrong.


When I was at school I had several teachers tell me that I 'couldn't write to save my life'. I was advised to study topics that involved little to no writing at all (I took art, maths, and computer studies). When I went to university to study psychology, I was confronted with this challenge and this fear. Most, if not all, of the assessments were written - essays, research reports, book reviews, and so on. How could I succeed in this profession if I lacked the basic skills needed to pass the course?


Simple - I learned how to write well.


I utilised every resource the university had on academic writing and I hassled my poor lecturers after every assignment, asking for feedback on how to improve. The result was finishing with the Best Overall Degree from my graduating class and an invitation to publish my award winning undergraduate dissertation.


All I needed was a little help and a push in the right direction.


So, if you've been wanting to write a book for some time but feel insecure or doubt your ability to do it, maybe all you need is a little help and guidance. You can check out my online lecture on How to Write Your First Book and Get It Published and you can also book a one-to-one consultation with me if you would like more personalised advice and support.


I look forward to reading your book soon.




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also known as Dr. Jemma Tosh (deadname)

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