Social Psychology: The Basics – on it’s way

Social Psychology Basics

Social Psychology: The Basics – now being written

Dear Blog,

For some time I have been harbouring a bit of a secret from you. I’ve not been sure how to bring it up, but I think it is time. I’ve been writing, and not with you. I met someone, we had a chat, and now I am in a wonderful relationship with a great editor. In fact, we’re having a book together. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it has. I think it’s time you know all about it. The book’s name? I’m not sure it’s that important, but it’s going to be called ‘Social Psychology: The Basics’.

The story so far….

OK, back to regular blog mode. As I have said elsewhere, I love writing, and I really enjoyed authoring Psychology Squared last year. A chance came up earlier this year to take this to a new level – by writing a textbook on social psychology entitled ‘Social Psychology: The Basics’. I’m really excited about this project! The aim of the book is to provide a accessible and comprehensive overview of the field of social psychology (yep, all of it!) in 60,000 words. It’s covering the history of social psychology and all the major topics the field explores. I’m hoping it’ll be fun and bring the topic to life, but with a critical edge. But the book is half the story, the writing is the other half – and that is what I want to share now…

50 down…

So, where are we? Well, the book is well underway – I am about 50k words in, and looking at starting the final chapter soon. As we are still on track , I thought it would be nice to share a bit about how I have found the process so far. It’s generally been pretty enjoyable – I love the subject, and some bits have been easy to write. Equally, I’ve also been forced into revisiting areas I don’t keep up with- ‘Social Psychology: The Basics’ has been a real driver to educate myself on what has been going on in some of the parts of the field more distant from my own work. It’s also been a chance to try new ways of doing things – I am actually dictating the whole of the first draft using Dragon’s dictation software and using a new text preperation package, Scrivener, which I love (I think that process will get a post of it’s own soon)! It’s also made me reflect on a few more general things….

Reflections on what I have learnt so far

  1. Writing a full length book is scary – you need to work out everything that needs to go in it at the start, and stick to that. What if I miss something? What if one bit is too long or too short (I will sort that out). What if I write it and no-one buys it? What it? What if? What if? Argh!
  2. Writing a full length book with a really limited word count is even more scary. I’m an academic. I love to talk at length on pretty much everything. Need to be disciplined here!
  3. Deadlines matter. My publisher and I have a production schedule, and I have my own set of targets I want to hit on the way. It’s a big project, and I don’t want to get of track!
  4. Sometimes you just need to get on with it, even if you don’t really feel like it. It’s not going to write itself! Procrastination is a feeling I am learning to loathe…
  5. Flying solo is scary. I have written a bunch of papers, book chapters, grant proposals and the like over the last decade. However, very few of these have been solo efforts. I think what I am writing is good, but there is a bit of me worried what my editor will think (although I am sure they will be supportive!).
  6. Life sometimes doesn’t listen to my schedule. I have had some absolutely surreal things happen this year professionally and personally. I’m not going to go into too much depth here, but it has been a tad tempestuous at times. It’s been tough to hit those markers in those periods. At times, that has even been a bit depressing. But… it has also meant that now….
  7. I realise how incredibly lucky I am. I get to write a book, people will read it and this is part of my job. Amazing!

I’ll keep you posted on how it is all going – if all goes well the next one will be when I get to that significant first full draft stage! Fingers crossed I get there on time…. In the meantime, do excuse the odd lapse on posting here and there- it’s all getting a bit of a juggling act at the moment 🙂

A little bit about the Basic’s series

The Basics series is published by Routledge, and aims to provide accessible, authoritative introductions to many many fields of study. Other titles in the ‘Basics’ series include Internet Psychology, Semiotics, Research Methods and about a zillion other topics – check out the full range here. I’m looking forward to joining such a great series!

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