my little book for people living with IBD was published in September by Hammersmith Books and has already received a few kind reviews. I am pleased people are finding it useful. My deepest wish is that the book will make a difference to someone’s life.
As I am learning now, it is nerve-racking to send your thoughts to the world and wait for how the world responds. I have never been as self-conscious about my science writing as I am about this book and that’s because I am revealing who I am in it as much as I am telling a story of IBD. Dear Readers, be kind to me and I hope to get more reviews like the one below!
it feels good to be checking proofs for my upcoming book for patients living with Crohn’s or colitis. To tell the truth, this book has been the easiest (it took just 3 months) and, at the same time, most challenging to write of all my works. Being a scientist, I always write about other people and thus I am a newbie in writing about myself. Combining my perspectives of a health professional and scientist with that of a regular human being living with a chronic illness felt at times weird. Do I reveal too much or too little? I guess I will know very soon. The book will be published in the coming months by wonderful Hammersmith Books who have patiently guided me through the process of becoming a popular science author. Now, the counting starts till the time when the book lands on a shelf in my bookshop. Can’t wait!
Happy New Year to All!
2017 was a very busy year for me, with plenty of research and writing done. Two book contracts signed would be more than enough to satisfy my ego but I was also pleased to see my dystopian short story Means of Production accepted for publication by Veronica Literary Magazine. This was an unexpected Christmas gift!
Here is what the nice people from Veronica said:
‘From the first line- “The man’s agile body glistened with perspiration”, one might assume they were about to read a piece of romantic fiction. But your story twists that on its head and leaves the reader stunned. This piece was a rollercoaster. You have crafted a story that drip feeds the reader answers to the questions you raise, while ultimately having crafted a world that raises many more questions than you could answer in a short piece. This is short fiction done right.’
I am very much looking forward to seeing the story published. Fingers crossed that 2018 will be as thrilling as 2017!
I am pleased to report that I have just signed my second book contract this year! It is with Routledge, a fantastic publisher based in the UK with whom I published another book, and the new work will be titled: Psychogastroenterology with Adults: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals. I will be working on it with two fantastic psychologists specialising in Psycho-gastroenterology, Dr Simon Knowles from Melbourne and Prof. Laurie Keefer from New York.
Here is a brief about the book: Two in five individuals live with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms at any given time, and up to 75% of these individuals experience significant comorbid psychological symptoms. There is a strong evidence supporting the overlap and interaction between the brain and the gut and the subsequent efficacy of psychological interventions, which have a direct and significant attenuating influence on a range of gastrointestinal conditions (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome) and symptoms (e.g., gastrointestinal distress, gastrointestinal pain, urgency, and diarrhoea). There is a dearth of mental health professionals trained in the domain of psychogastroenterology. This limits the extent to which these behavioural approaches are integrated into GI care, and private practice. A practical, theory and evidence-based handbook from senior mental health practitioners working in psychogastroenterology in the field will promote mental health professional’s interest in the GI population and build confidence among those therapists who already strive to optimally implement psychogastroenterology into their practice settings.
More detail will follow in due course!
I must be the very last of my group of writing friends who is launching her website. While I write science papers in my day job, this kind of technical writing does not feel intimate, and I don’t think twice about sharing it with whoever is interested in my area of expertise. Health scientists need to communicate with the public, other scientists, doctors, and policymakers on what we’ve learnt in our research so that the healthcare can be improved and people have access to safer and more effective treatments. So, science writing is the domain where I feel comfortable.
Creative writing, on the other hand, and particularly creative writing in English which is my second language, is something I’ve done largely in private. I had not thought of showing any of my work to the world until I moved to York, in the north of England, in early 2013, and joined York Writers. I was an active member of this fantastic writers’ community till late 2016 when I returned to Australia.
Joining York Writers was an experiment in overcoming my own self-doubt. English has always been my favourite foreign language. I have studied French, Russian, and German at different points in my life – I find languages fascinating and wish I had more time to progress with this hobby, but it is English which has become my second language thanks to the decision to move to Australia to do my PhD. And, English is the lingua franca of science. But can one master the second language to the point of being taken for a native speaker? I’ve always wondered about it. I know my accent will forever be noticeable in speech but will I ever write as well in English as I do in Polish? That’s an ongoing experiment on which I will update you from time to time using this website.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve hesitated about whether to have a private website at all. The following thoughts ran through my head. Will I have anything to share with you? Is what I do important at all? And, who cares about this Polish girl who wants to master English? But then my book for people living with inflammatory bowel disease was bought by Hammersmith Books, a UK publisher, and I thought perhaps that’s a good enough reason to share what I do with the world. After all, a good publishing company believed in me.
This website is dedicated to my love of writing, for science, popular-science, and as a creative pursuit. I will share what I do with you and I very much look forward to hearing your thoughts on my work. Stay tuned!