The “write” thing
Don't believe the myths: “It's too hard,” “I don't have enough time,” “It will never be accepted,” “I don't have anything to write about,” and on and on. Excuses, all of them! I'm quite sure you've done a quality improvement project, presented a poster, researched a topic of interest, started a new initiative, had thoughts on a compelling issue, or even performed a research study. Any and all of those concepts, and others, are the substrate for an article.
Case in point—in this issue, the first- and second-place poster winners from last year's Nursing Management Congress have written their stories for publication. If you've gotten as far as a poster abstract, or a slide presentation, then you're already halfway finished. Narrowing down your idea and scoping out the outline can sometimes be the hardest part; once you're there, expanding it to a beginning, middle, and end comes somewhat naturally.
I say that with a bit of self-humor. I wasn't a natural born lover of writing; in fact, I would rather answer 1,000 multiple choice questions than compose one essay when I was in school. Maybe it's a product of my predominant left brain, and you may be nodding your heads in assent. If I can overcome the irrational fear, so can you.
What “something” in your work as a leader do you love? That's your first step. Writing about your passion makes it easier and leads to a much better manuscript. If there's even a flicker of interest, don't let it disappear. Act on it. Use your colleagues and mentors to help.
In October, I'll be doing a breakout session at Nursing Management Congress to demystify the writing process and help you focus your idea for publication. You'll even realize that peer review isn't as terrifying as it seems and how the revision process only makes your manuscript stronger. Whether it's clinical work, unit management, research, quality improvement, general leadership, staff engagement, patient experience, practice environment, informatics, or any of the other areas you know, the editorial board and staff of this journal, or other journals, are willing to assist you.
Tell your story—your colleagues want to read and learn from it. It's important for our nursing narrative and evidence base, and will impact others.