This week’s Grand Rounds 3.35 is going to be hosted by impactEDnurse.com. The challenge to the submitters was to “take a journey back through the narrative of your posts and pick out a story that you consider to be one of your best. Maybe it is a story that particularly moved you, or a topic that really gets your juices flowing. Perhaps you have written something that had special meaning to you. Or covered a topic you consider of great significance. Or you may have produced something you feel is superbly entertaining. I am looking for that quintessential post that you consider a representation of your true voice as a medical blogger. Take your time and choose well.”
So, I decided to review some of what I had written since August of last year. I was quite surprised by the number of posts (now more than 100, not to mention all of the ‘responses to comments’, several of which could have been posts on their own), diversity of topics and variety of approaches I have taken to convey my thoughts on this site. I related stories that had “moved” me, topics that had gotten my “juices flowing” and had “special meaning” to me, some that covered important, if not significant, issues, and some that were actually “entertaining.” I honestly asked myself on several occasions as I was reviewing these, “Did I really write that?”
Interestingly, I have always held writers in very high esteem and never considered myself to be much of one; in fact from an early age, writing terrified me! If it had not been for my father, who was quite gifted at conveying his thoughts in prose, I probably would have never gotten through 7th grade English. And, for those of you who have stuck with me from the start, you already know that I took on this role on request of Dr. Paul S. Auerbach ("Medicine for the Outdoors"), an old friend of mine from college and medical school, with some trepidation and seriously wondered if I would be up to the task.
What I have learned is that I thoroughly enjoy doing this, even if my ‘styles’ are as varied as the weather (or, is it schizophrenia) as I search for my “true voice.” Writing in this format has given me the opportunity to reflect on my experiences, gather inspiration from the patients who have entrusted me with their care and blessed my life, and express opinions outside the formal structure of the ‘peer review’ process. The whole experience has been a catharsis of sorts and has added considerable meaning to my life and role as a physician.
It has taken me many years to accept the teaching that the hardest part of writing is ‘just getting started’, putting the first words and thoughts down on paper. Writing is truly a ‘process’. It is the ‘gifted’ and exceptional individual who can ‘get it right’ the first time. Accepting this limitation was a major obstacle to be overcome for me (my ego would accept no such limitations). Part of my ‘developmental delay’ in this regard was my perceived inefficiency of such a process and that was exacerbated by my inability to type – I still get by with just two fingers, albeit fast fingers! When I was younger, the thoughts that would spill from my brain onto paper always seemed disorganized (and they were at first) because I am one of these folks whose mind races (ADHD???), knowing A is connected to Z, but challenged by the process of breaking down the steps into B through Y (lots of physicians seem to be put together that way!). Add to that the impediment of having to commit and rearrange, quite laboriously for me, those words in text format was, admittedly, a challenge, limited my productivity, and delayed my emergence as an author of any sort. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the development of word processors, lots of my thoughts would probably still be stuck bouncing around inside of my head!
Anyway, after reviewing my work over the past year, I selected and passed along a couple of my posts to impactEDnurse.com for Grand Rounds 3.35 consideration. One reflected my serious side and one my sense of humor. Were they “quintessential?” I don’t know! I think that is up to you, the readers to decide. In fact, sometime it would be great fun to have the readers make THEIR selections from the blogosphere for a Grand Rounds compendium!