Coretta Collins has always wanted to be a writer. But she’s also always wanted to work in healthcare. As she pursued a career as a nurse practitioner her passion for writing got pushed to the backburner.
But eventually, she realized she could bring her two loves together and she launched her blog Confessions of a Nurse Practitioner.
Juggling a blog with a demanding career in healthcare is no easy feat any time of any year, but with the world in the midst of a global health pandemic Coretta’s consistency with her blog makes her a superhero indeed. For this and more, Coretta is our Member of the Month for May 2020.
Read on to get to know more about Coretta and her blog.
Most people would think that nursing and writing are worlds apart. How and why have you decided to bring those two interests together?
Just as I’ve always known I wanted a career in healthcare, I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer. I know that just as I am helping others in nursing that I can also help and impact others through writing. As my nursing career progressed, writing took a back seat but I always wanted it to return to the forefront. I struggled with how, due to juggling a demanding career and family. Despite this, I always have story ideas in my head. I’m always thinking, “I should write about this.” I would share my thoughts with friends who would encourage me. Finally, I decided, I’ve been putting writing off long enough. I was becoming more and more uncomfortable with not writing because it is such a big part of who I am.
Writing has helped me navigate challenging times in my life. It occurred to me that I could combine my two passions to make a difference and satisfy a longing. I’ve always known I’d wanted to author books but in taking the slow and steady approach, I didn’t want to try to do too much too fast. I was sharing my thoughts with God during prayer time and the blog idea was born.
How have you managed to blog consistently with everything that’s going on with COVID-19?
It’s been harder but I’m doing it! As I continue to work daily outside of the home with a new set of stressors, my home life has become more impacted and different as well. My husband and I have three children who still need to complete school work in addition to my husband trying to fulfill his work obligations. Additionally, housework, cooking, household, and family demands don’t stop and have in many ways become more of a struggle. Nevertheless, when I started my blog, I knew that I was going to have to commit to seeing it completely through no matter what. So, if it means I wake up even earlier or stay up even later, I’ve made a commitment to it so, I move mountains to complete it.
Tell us more about your blog. What inspired you to start your blog and what kind of content can people expect to find there?
Confessions of a Nurse Practitioner aims to share insight, promote health, and provide education in an engaging and understandable way. My goal is for anyone to be able to easily read the content and learn or be inspired. I try to keep the medical terminology to a minimum or at least explain the meanings.
My inspiration for the blog was divine. Yes, God gave me the idea. It came from my desire to merge my passions for healthcare/nursing and writing with the goal of helping and impacting more people.
You can find content from a variety of areas since I have a wealth of knowledge and experience with diverse subjects. As a board-certified family nurse practitioner, my education and experience have allowed me to care for patients across the life span from birth to death. As a nurse practitioner who works primarily with cancer and blood disease patients, I’ve learned even more within my oncology and hematology specialty. Finally, I’ve had various life experiences that have allowed me to help and inspire others through sharing. It helps that my personal experiences overlap with my professional experiences giving me a unique and relatable perspective.
The blog is separated into unique categories — Confessions of Me, Confessions of Health and Wellness, Confessions of Grief & Loss, Confessions of Marriage & Family, and Confessions of Cancer — with specific content pertaining to each area. There is something in one category or another that anyone can directly or indirectly relate to.
What writing projects do you plan to work on in the future?
In addition to maintaining the blog, I’ve started a Facebook Live segment, Confessions Chat with CCTHENP where I discuss various health topics that usually center on whatever the blog posts were for the month. I also have a lot of book ideas floating around in my head! The one that I’m actively working to complete is on pregnancy and early infant loss. It is based on my personal experience and is aimed to inspire and support women and families who have had similar experiences.
Why did you decide to join See Jane Write and what do you like most about being a member?
A fellow writer, friend and See Jane Write member told me about See Jane Write a few years back but at the time I didn’t think the group pertained to me. I’d joined the mailing list back then as well so I received emails but never really paid much attention to them because at the time I was stuck in “I want to be a writer but I don’t have time write” mode. This all changed when I decided once and for all I would be a writer because I’m destined and determined to be one. When I got the idea to start the blog, I told my friend about it. Immediately, she said, “you should really think about joining See Jane Write, especially since you are starting a blog.” She went on to explain to me the benefits and what she thought I could get out of the membership. She knows I can be frugal, but she convinced me that the membership would be a worthwhile investment. Turns out she was right and the value is exceptional for the cost!
After truly reading my emails, reviewing the website and having a consultation call with you I knew See Jane Write was an answer to a prayer I didn’t realize I had! I’ve gained so much insight and support by being a member. I’ve been working on prioritizing my writing life and have gained a community of encouraging and supportive writers.
It’s hard to say what I like most about being a member because I love so much about it! If I have to choose one, I’ll go with the critique sessions. Since I’ve been dusting off my once dormant writing chops and getting back into the swing of writing often, these sessions are a huge help to me. I appreciate the insight and constructive criticism I receive on my work because it helps me to get better. At the end of the day, that’s what I’m working towards, being the best writer I can be.
Who should be the next See Jane Write Member of the Month? Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t be afraid to nominate yourself! Not a member? Apply to join here.