PhD thesis into a book chapter. Mission impossible?

For some time, I need to write a book chapter based on my PhD proposal. Thinking how there won’t be ‘so much work’, as I have already done the major, big work, I left it to the last moment. And then… I started working on it. What a surprise!? It is much, much harder than I thought. I realised that I’m not even sure that I have enough material, although I need to put 20,000 words into 7,000. Mathematically speaking, there should be more than enough material. However, I was wrong.

I don’t want to write a lot about the difference between writing for a book chapter or PhD thesis. There are plenty of literature around there (check especially Pat Thomson’s blogs) which can give valuable, professional insights into writing for different genres and audiences.

I only want to share my experience of being easily deceived in my own thinking of ‘will do it easily’. Well, it’s not easy and, after realising it, I was postponing the act of writing for some time. Maybe I was waiting ‘for an inspiration’, although I know that the only way to get inspired, in this case is to sit down and start writing. At least, to start deleting irrelevant parts of my thesis and feel comforted about having some letters on the screen.

And now… The hard thing starts: adding new material, editing, making it completely different. At the end, PhD thesis and a book chapter are completely different, no matter how similar ideas they present.