Want to finish your thesis or journal article with your self-esteem intact?
Introducing the Academic Writing Community
For graduate students, academic staff or medical researchers who want to reconnect with their research and finish their thesis or paper without the stress!
I will help you confidently create and implement a writing plan to get your thesis or paper finished once and for all!
I know how it feels when you’re frustrated about your lack of progress with your academic writing.
You feel bad, so you don’t actually write anything. Or you write something but think that it’s terrible.
So then you don’t send it to your supervisor or co-author.
And then they get frustrated by your lack of action. Which makes you feel worse.
And so the cycle continues.
You keep making time to write in your diary but you never get to the computer. Or if you get to the computer, you spend most of the time staring at the screen. Or convincing yourself that you need to read ‘just one more paper’.
But what if there were a better way?
A way in which you actually feel confident in what you want to say and how you want to say it?
Well, the good news is that there is!
So, if you’re looking for a supportive community to help build your skills and confidence in academic writing, then you’re in the right place!
The Academic Writing Community is for postgraduate students, academic staff and health/medical professionals — anyone who needs support with their academic writing. The membership site is 100% online so no matter where you live, you’ll be able to join us.
Support, how and when you need it
What our members say
I have gained a lot of insight from your coaching sessions over the past few months and think I now have the positive mindset and necessary skills to keep me on track with my thesis. I'm nearly there!
I have submitted my thesis. Thanks again for your support along the way. I have found the sessions supportive and helpful.
How it works
Having worked as a mindset coach for the past few years, helping academic staff and students make progress with their writing, there’s a couple of things I know to be true: you don’t need to keep searching for the ‘magic’ writing strategy but you do need to be confident in your knowledge and your writing abilities.
So, how can you become more confident? By writing! Yep, the best way to feel more confident is to start taking action. You don’t need to read another 15 papers and you likely don’t need to go back into the lab or the field to collect more data. What you need to do is get clear on the research story that you are telling and know that you have something important to share with the world.
I know that, these days, there are a lot of co-writing sessions out there after two year of a pandemic. And co-writing is great (which is why I host two sessions each week for AWC members). But I also know that a lot of academics get stuck and then they stop writing. And when that happens, it can be hard to get back into a regular writing habit, even if you have co-writing scheduled in your diary.
Alternatively, when people lose their confidence, they start writing thousands of words that aren’t really relevant to their actual research story. They feel pressure to be ‘productive’ and so they show up week after week, writing page after page of text that has no structure. And the problem with that is that it’s then really hard to edit. Trust me, I have been a professional editor since 2004 and I know how hard to is to fix structural problems in a long document!
However, when that happens to AWC members, they have the opportunity to work with me, so that we can work out the root cause of the writing block and then create a process for getting past it. This is a much better approach than either ignoring your writing or writing pages of irrelevant text.
So if you’re tired of feeling unsupported in your writing and if you’re willing to do the (sometimes emotional) work that’s needed to find your confidence, I’d love to support you!
Hi, I’m Dr Malini Devadas!
After completing my PhD at the Australian National University in the 1990s, I moved to Japan to work in medical research for 4 years. However, I quickly realised that I enjoyed the writing more than the lab work! In 2004 I started my training as a professional editor and became accredited in 2009. In 2013 I launched MD Writing and Editing, to help scientists and medical professionals improve their academic writing skills through training and editing services.
Now, in 2022, after completing two coaching certifications, I work as a life coach who helps academic staff and students get their writing done. Having worked with academics for so many years, I understand that there can be many reasons why people don’t make progress on their writing tasks. I’m interested in exploring those reasons and helping people overcome various obstacles that appear during an academic career.
I love communities, and during the lockdown in 2020 I could see just how many people (graduate students in particular) were feeling isolated and losing their confidence in their writing skills. That’s why I created the Academic Writing Community. I’d love to have you join us!
What our members say
Just wanted to let you know that I have submitted my thesis this morning! A big thank you to you and our academic writing group. It really has made such a world of difference over the past year having that support network around which has kept me on track and helped to re-build some of my confidence and get me to the finish line. Thank you again.
I am really enjoying Malini’s writing group and all the valuable support and advice that she gives. Malini fosters a collegial atmosphere for group writing sessions that are an excellent way to share the writing experience with others and to stay on task. I especially love how she shows us that she’s seen all the barriers to successful writing before and that there is nothing that we are experiencing is unusual or hopeless, just part of the process and that everyone gets stuck. It’s easy to feel like we are not good enough when we don’t get out of our own heads.
I look forward to the co-working sessions and the Q&A each month. Just when you think you have heard it all (never!) there is always a tidbit that helps me with my writing. It is a safe comfortable place to relax and get your headspace right, and to know you are not alone.
Each month I will give two training webinars which will be recorded. Below is a sample of previous trainings, to give you an idea of the content I will cover.
As a member, I was given the support and resources to make progress with my writing. I was able to overcome barriers I didn't realise were there. The practice and ongoing support through the regular sessions and workshops were key to refining and moving forwards in meeting and accomplishing my goals. I was able to get that manuscript written and submitted for publication. I'm no longer petrified of writing my thesis.
This online community provides connection when writing in isolation and guidance on writing structure to help me progress with my writing. It has given me confidence to put words on the page and has encouraged me to seek feedback from my supervisors rather than hide from their gaze.
I have made so much progress on my writing my thesis since joining your membership and watching your videos, particularly those on adjusting your mindset. I have learnt more about writing in a couple of videos than ever before. I can't thank you enough!
Frequently asked questions
This community is for anyone who wants to feel more confident about their writing skills. Whether you are a graduate student, early-career researcher, healthcare professional or someone else, you are welcome!
The cost is $450 for February to November 2023 (plus GST for those in Australia).
Once you pay you have paid up until the end of November 2023. You can come and go throughout the year but there are no refunds.
Only the twice-per-month training calls are recorded. The recordings are put into the membership site so that you can watch them at your leisure.
The rest of the calls (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) are not recorded. The sessions are time for writing, so there is nothing to record there!
Some of our members are not able to attend any calls but keep their membership because they get huge value from the training call recordings.
But, if you want to connect with other members, then it’s ideal if you are free 12-1pm Sydney time at least a couple of times each week, so that you can attend most events.
This membership is structured in a way to support many people at a lower price compared to my 1-1 services. Because of this, I am unable to look at your document.
I am also not able to respond to emails asking for support or feedback with writing. However, members are welcome to hire me to edit their writing in a separate capacity.
I do have a private coaching practice for people who want 1-1 services. You can contact me about that separately.