Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Write What You Know

My dream of writing was put to the side during high school and college and the first few years of marriage. I was too busy learning how to be a nurse (I'm a Registered Nurse; I graduated in 1989 from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont with my BSN) and a wife, and later, a mother (Tim and I were married in 1989; Cody was born in 1991 and Morgan in 1993).

During my first few years as a nurse I worked in a variety of jobs; Child and Adolescent Psych, Telemetry (heart monitoring), Home Health, Private Duty, Long-Term Care Employee Education, teaching at the local community college, and teaching Lamaze.

Eventually I became interested in writing again. The main advice I have for all writers and aspiring writers is, write what you know. And that's what I did! I became interested in communication with patients--how to ask sensitive questions, telling a patient bad news, and so on. I wrote an article about communicating with patients for a nursing magazine. When I taught Lamaze I discovered a magazine called Childbirth Instructor. At that time I'd taught Lamaze for several years, and faced some interesting people and classes, so began writing articles for that magazine. It was a huge thrill to see my name in print and know that I'd accomplished my childhood dream of writing. (It's still a thrill to see my name in print!)

Several years later a nurse friend and I were talking about all the people we'd met who were unhappy in their nursing jobs, yet felt stuck in their current job. Both Martha and I had had a wide variety of jobs . . . some we liked, some we didn't . . . but through the years we'd both had a "perfect job" or two, and we knew that "perfect jobs" in nursing are available, if the nurse knows how and where to look. We had a brainstorm and eventually co-authored our first book, How to Find Your Perfect Job in Nursing.

We eventually decided to self-publish, and what a thrill it was to see our names on the cover of a book! It was--and continues to be--very gratifying to hear people say how our book has helped them find their "perfect" job in nursing . . . or at least a great job in nursing.

In the near future I'll post about how I used the advice to "write what you know" and wrote about my favorite job of all, being a mom.

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