WordPress notified me today that I started this blog eight years ago. I remember the day precisely. I’d just heard a favorite writing teacher, Helen Gallagher, tell our group that if we had a book coming out, we must start a blog at least six months ahead of time to help establish a platform. I’d learned that Caring Lessons (Deep River Books, 2010), the memoir of my nursing career, would be published in September, and it suddenly struck me I could not delay any longer. I stayed after class and asked Helen to set up a blog for me. I’m forever grateful to her for getting me started.

Now, over five-hundred posts later, I still enjoy this venue for writing, and, as importantly, hearing from readers and interacting with other bloggers from around the world. Blogging is such a fun way to meet new people and learn about new things and places. For instance, I can go behind the scenes and search for all other blogs written on nursing. I’ve found struggling nursing students that way, and I love to write a note of encouragement from “a retired nursing professor” assuring him or her that their efforts are worthwhile and something they will never regret.

I am an example of “a nurse can retire but you can never take the nurse out of her.” In fact, I was delighted the other day when a friend spotted me at a meeting, came over to me afterwards, and said, “I saw your white blouse and thought yes, of course, that fits, you’re a nurse.” I laughed and said, “I’m still trying to replace my lab coat look.”

Luckily, as a retiree, I can still promote nursing through my blogging and by participating in book signings for Caring Lessons. Just last January, I was able to sell a few copies at a book fair at a mall near my house. It’s really fun to talk with folks interested in why a person chooses nursing and then how he chooses his clinical specialty and his role: practitioner, teacher, administrator or more.

Challenge: Have you ever thought of blogging? Maybe not. Try it! You might enjoy sharing your interests and learning to love the diversity that reading the blogs of others brings into your life on the comfort of your own couch.