Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Thanking My Faithful Readers and Answering Some Questions

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to the people who read my blog regularly and to those who happen upon it as they search for something. I have received many kind emails and comments from people who have learned something from my posts or because they enjoyed something I wrote.

I also receive some emails of disagreement. What I write isn't always popular and I respect dissenting points of view, as long as they are respectful in turn. And sometimes the emails I get are to tell me that I am wrong. I do try to limit that as much as possible but if I goof up, I admit it and thank the reader for pointing it out.

A few people have asked me how I choose my topics and why my posting can be erratic. Good questions. My topics usually come from the news I read that morning. My routine is I wake up, check email and then browse news releases and stories. If something jumps out at me, I'll write about it. Other times, it's because a particular topic is something I am passionate about or I know a lot about. I write about depression and suicide, because it has touched my life. I write about fibromyalgia because I have it. I write about sepsis because Sepsis Alliance is one of my clients and I strongly support their efforts, and so on. As for the frequency of my posts, that's as much a mystery to me as it is others. I always mean to post more often, but then I get distracted with my work or life in general, and the blog gets pushed aside. I shouldn't let that happen because I'm very proud of the blog and the messages I've gotten out through it. I could say that I'll make a New Year's resolution to post more regularly in 2014, but I'm not so good at keeping resolutions, so I think I'll refrain from that.

Over the past several years, I've also received emails from people, mostly nurses, who want to get in to health writing. They like that I'm a nurse who has taken her work life in a completely different direction. I like to help as much as possible and I answer each email with care, explaining how I got into it and suggesting how others may be able to. What is puzzling though, is that I'd say about half the time, I don't even get a thank you. That is a bit discouraging, but what can you do? Some people have manners, some don't. I hope that some of those who wanted to write have gone on to be successful.

I also get asked sometimes if I still work as a nurse and if not, do I miss it. No, I no longer work clinically as a nurse. The last time was about two years ago when I did some occupational nursing for a large organization. I've worked in areas ranging from postpartum and newborns to palliative care, to geriatrics. I've literally worked with people from birth to death. And while I liked the personal contact, nursing is a very tough job and one that physically drained me. So now, I've found my niche. I get to use the experience and knowledge I've gained over the years and apply it to my writing. It truly is a win-win situation for me. I couldn't be any more content with my professional choices. I do miss the patient contact from time to time, I won't deny that. And I do sometimes feel guilty that I've left the front line because nurses are needed in so many areas. But we need to do what works for us and I don't regret the choice I made.

And now I'm signing off for 2013. If there is any topic in particular that you would like me to address, I'm always open to ideas. After writing this blog for, what, seven years (?), it's sometimes difficult to come up with fresh ideas.

In the meantime, if you celebrate the holidays, I hope they are joyful and peaceful for you. If you do not celebrate, I wish you a calm, healthy, and happy end of the year and beginning of the new one.

See you in January!