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Finding your ‘Why’ as a Nurse Freelance Writer

Updated: Mar 23

Freelance writing provides an exciting avenue for nurses but is less often talked about compared to other business ventures nurses go for. With their wealth of knowledge and firsthand healthcare experiences, nurses are perfectly poised to make a significant impact in the writing world. Freelance writing also affords nurses the flexibility to craft their narratives anytime, anywhere, breaking free from the confines of traditional nursing roles. But stepping into the writing field requires more than just a desire for financial gain or a change of pace. It demands a deeper introspection into one’s motives and goals. Why exactly does a nurse choose to delve into the world of words? Understanding this 'why' is not just beneficial—it's essential. It's the bedrock upon which a fulfilling and impactful freelance writing career is built. Let's explore the importance of this self-discovery and how it shapes your journey as a nurse-turned-freelance-writer.

Avoiding Burnout and Boredom

Freelance writing, like any profession, can lead to burnout or boredom if you're not deeply connected to your purpose. Writing without a clear 'why' can feel like navigating without a compass. For instance, a nurse writer who simply churns out generic health articles without any personal interest or connection will likely find the process unfulfilling. In contrast, when you write with a clear 'why', such as educating young parents on pediatric health or sharing insights on patient advocacy, it becomes more than a job; it's a mission. This sense of purpose transforms every piece you write into a fulfilling endeavor, keeping the flames of passion and interest alive.

Financial Value Recognition

When you're clear about your 'why', you attract clients who respect and value your expertise. Without this clarity, you risk engaging with clients who may not see your worth, leading to undervaluing your work. For example, a nurse writer who specializes in writing about holistic nursing care or mental health awareness can attract niche publications or health websites seeking expert insights in these areas. On the other hand, without this clarity and niche expertise, you may find yourself in a competitive pool where the value of your work is not adequately recognized, leading to lower compensation and less satisfying projects. Knowing your 'why' helps in articulating the unique value you offer, thus commanding the respect and financial remuneration your expertise deserves.

Alignment with Values 

Every writer has a set of values that guide their work. If your values don't align with those of your clients, it can lead to dissatisfaction and a disjointed writing experience. For instance, a nurse passionate about holistic health would find great satisfaction in writing for wellness platforms that promote natural health remedies. Conversely, if you find yourself writing for clients whose values clash with yours, such as promoting practices you don't ethically agree with, it can lead to internal conflict and dissatisfaction. Thus, selecting projects and clients that resonate with your personal and professional values is key to a rewarding freelance writing career.

Authenticity in Writing

Your 'why' is the foundation of authenticity in your writing. It's what makes your work genuine, engaging, and impactful. It enables you to write from a place of truth and passion, which resonates more deeply with readers. For example, a nurse writing about their experiences in a neonatal intensive care unit brings authenticity that can't be replicated by someone without that background. This authenticity not only enriches the content but also builds trust and credibility with your audience. Readers can sense when a writer is genuinely invested in their topic, and this authenticity fosters a deeper connection and engagement with your work.

License Protection

As a nurse, protecting your license is paramount. It is critical to ensure your content is professional and ethical, and within your scope of practice. A nurse should avoid providing specific medical advice that could be construed as practicing medicine without a license. By focusing on topics that align with your nursing knowledge and adhering to the ethical standards of nursing practice you ensure that your content remains professional, credible, and within the legal scope of your profession. This approach not only protects your license but also upholds the integrity and trustworthiness of your writing.

Tips for Finding Your 'Why'

Discovering your 'why' is a journey in itself. Here are some tips to guide you:

Reflect on Your Intentions: Take time to ponder why you ventured into freelance writing. Is it to educate, inspire, or share experiences? Is it to replace your bedside income or another income stream? What topics do you want to write about and why? Understanding your initial intention can illuminate your path forward.

Know Your Audience: Identifying who you're writing for and why can significantly shape your content. Think about the impact you want to have on your readers and how your nursing background can contribute to this.

Seek Inspiration: What writers or works spark your interest? Engage with content that moves you, and reflect on why it does. This can be a powerful source of inspiration for your own writing.

Embrace Feedback: Constructive feedback is a treasure trove for growth. It not only improves your writing skills but also helps gauge how your content resonates with readers.

Revisit and Grow Your 'Why': Your 'why' is not static. As you evolve in your writing journey, so will your reasons for writing. Continuously revisiting and reflecting on your 'why' can open new doors and expand your writing horizons.

Woman stands with back to camera and outstretched arms

In Summary

Finding your 'why' as a nurse freelance writer is a vital step towards a fulfilling writing career. It's what keeps you grounded, inspired, and true to yourself. By understanding your motivations and continuously nurturing them, you can create content that not only satisfies your soul but also makes a meaningful impact on your readers. Remember, your 'why' is your writing's heartbeat – keep it strong and clear.

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