For some years now, I have been thinking about writing a book in which I would translate scientific knowledge about eating behaviour to a more general population. And as most people know, only thinking about doing something does not really lead to much… While conducting my PhD-trajectory, I noticed that writing a dissertation requires (or maybe even obligates) you to write within a prescribed structure. This makes it in some ways easier to write a doctoral thesis, because you know what is expected from you, but it also makes it more difficult to personalize or be creative in the text that you write. In other words, there is less space for personal interpretation because most of what you say should be evidenced- or reference-based, and less about personal and qualitative interpretation of what you have found.
Therefore, I planned to write another book about the effects of food marketing on eating behaviour, in addition to my doctoral thesis, but now in a different way. Unfortunately my plan was too vague and abstract (“I want to write a book in the upcoming years…”, “It has to be about something related to eating behaviour”, etc..). As a result, of course, I did not start writing the book. When I became conscious about this mechanism, I started to make it more concrete and specific, talked about it with some friends who would help me with different aspects of writing the book, and scheduled some hours every week to conduct the writing. Almost at the same time, I was invited to become an editor for an edition for Current Issues in Social Psychology for the Routledge Serie.
This seemed to be the perfect scenario to write my long-desired book. Now I could write a book about the topic in which I think I have some expertise, I could share the workload because other experts contribute to the book as well, and I already have a publisher who will print and market the book. At the same time, I am intensively collaborating with other scholars from a great variety of disciplines, providing me with important eclectic insights on the relevant topic, and possibly leading to other work-related opportunities in the future as well. It is a lot like the other work we do within Open-Evidence, like H2020-projects or tenders in which we participate.
So if you want to do something for the long-run, like writing a book, make concrete plans and just start doing it. Then it will work out for you, and maybe even other things will come by while you are doing it; things you could not even imagine at the start, but that make your life much better in the end. Of course, probably you already knew this, but in the end it’s all about getting things started.