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3 Writing Skills Every Nurse Entrepreneur Should Master

Entrepreneurs Article   (793 Views | 4 Replies | 687 Words)
by Elizabeth Hanes Elizabeth Hanes, BSN, RN (Trusted Brand) Trusted Brand Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Elizabeth Hanes has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Freelance Writer, 'the nurse who knows content'.

8 Followers; 14 Articles; 10,803 Profile Views; 288 Posts

How can I learn how to write efficiently?

You can communicate more effectively and efficiently with your audience if you master these three skills.

3 Writing Skills Every Nurse Entrepreneur Should Master
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Communicating with your target audience – whether through your website or blog posts or social media – can generate leads and increase conversions for your nurse-owned business. And, sure, you can hire a professional writer to do this content creation for you, but many nurse entrepreneurs don’t have the budget for that early in the life of their business.

If you’re a nurse entrepreneur who falls into the DIY-content-creation camp, I’d like to share three skills that can help you write content quickly and painlessly.

1. Outlining

If this brings up horrible memories of freshman English class, relax. Outlines do not have to be formal documents that involve the use of Roman numerals.

When I say “outlining,” I’m really talking about sketching out your composition on paper before you start writing. Let’s say you’re going to write a blog post. You’ll be a more efficient writer if you take five minutes and jot down these points:

  1. Focus/topic of the post
  2. Format of the post (narrative, list, etc.)
  3. Main point you want to get across
  4. A couple of sub-points that support your main point, if you want

I went through this process before I began writing this very article. I decided to write on the topic of “writing skills every nurse entrepreneur should master.” Then I determined this article would benefit from a “list” format (hence: “three writing skills…”). Then I considered what my main point should be: “help nurse entrepreneurs write content quickly and painlessly.” Lastly, I decided I would not include any sub-points, because the three skills in the list can stand on their own.

That wasn’t too painful, was it?

2. Pre-writing

Once you’ve outlined your composition, take a moment to consider what research you need to conduct before you start writing. Using the example of a blog post, what pre-writing activities should you perform to support your point(s)?

Pre-writing activities include things like:

  • Reading expert articles or news coverage on the topic
  • Finding and reading research studies
  • Looking up statistical information
  • Finding resources to link to in your piece
  • Interviewing sources
  • Watching expert interviews or webinars and taking notes
  • Creating a more detailed outline or roadmap for your writing

By taking time to perform these types of pre-writing activities before you sit down at the keyboard, you’ll enjoy a smoother, uninterrupted writing process because you won’t have to stop periodically to look up a statistic or source to validate some point you’re making. Plus, your first draft will be much stronger and require less editing.

3. Lousy first drafts

I work with nurses who are pursuing freelance writing careers, and some of them get very uptight about achieving perfection in the first draft of an article, blog post or whatever. That’s a sure way to reinforce the idea that writing is a painful, torturous activity.

To counter this, I recommend taking the reverse approach: aim for a really lousy first draft.

This advice comes from Anne Lamott, and I’ve employed it successfully throughout my career.

Basically, use the first draft as a means to quickly get your thoughts down on paper, following the outline you originally created. Don’t worry about the elegance of your prose or whether you used too much passive voice or if you nailed the grammar. Instead, focus on simply getting the idea down.

On the second (or third or fourth…) pass, you can smooth out the grammar and transitions, convert some of the passive voice to active and generally clean everything up into something you can be proud to publish.

If you’re a nurse entrepreneur who creates her own business content, my hat’s off to you! I hope these tips will help you become a more efficient and confident writer moving forward.

I'm an RN but make my living as a freelance writer. I produce health articles, patient information, web pages, blog posts, video scripts - and so much more - on behalf of clients like hospitals, health systems, insurers and digital magazines. I work from home, set my own hours and find plenty of time to care for my elderly mother, go to the gym, take vacation, fill my house with antiques....

8 Followers; 14 Articles; 10,803 Profile Views; 288 Posts

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ChelseaOCN has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology.

1 Article; 6 Posts; 289 Profile Views

Great advice! I’m just getting my feet wet in the freelance writing pool. Thanks for sharing these easy to follow tips.

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PCU_RN9 is a MSN and specializes in Health insurance nursing/ Cardiac nursing.

3 Articles; 60 Posts; 3,024 Profile Views

Great info! Very helpful, thank you!

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Elizabeth Hanes has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Freelance Writer, 'the nurse who knows content'.

8 Followers; 14 Articles; 288 Posts; 10,803 Profile Views

On 6/10/2020 at 8:56 AM, ChelseaOCN said:

Great advice! I’m just getting my feet wet in the freelance writing pool. Thanks for sharing these easy to follow tips.

You are welcome! I'm glad to know these tips help!

Beth

18 hours ago, PCU_RN9 said:

Great info! Very helpful, thank you!

You're welcome! Let me know if you have any questions about these tips!

Beth

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Mywords1 specializes in nursing ethics.

63 Posts; 909 Profile Views

I have written many published articles and 2 books. Outlines are not for everyone but some writers need them to focus on, especially if they are not too knowledgeable in the field and they easily get distracted or forgetful. I rarely use them.

Agree that the first draft is usually very rough. Don't show it to anyone. Use a thesaurus, constantly, even for common words. If you overdo the research, you will only delay procrastinate writing. It becomes an excuse not to write.

 

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