The Story of 33 Nurses, Part 2
In my last post, I shared the original spark for the book 33 Nurses: Insight, Inspiration, and Stories from the Field and how a plan started to come together. (If you missed Part 1 of the story, you can read it here.)
I knew I wanted to develop a consistent set of questions that each nurse would answer. Because my main focus is to help nurses reduce stress, a couple of the questions were related to the stress involved with their jobs, whether they practiced self-care or not, and what types of things they did to help control stress. I started with eight questions to keep it manageable for the nurses.
In January 2020, I started my search for nurses on social media, via emails out to different nurse organizations and their state chapters, and messages to all my nurse connections on LinkedIn. I set up Zoom videoconference calls and those worked pretty well. I transcribed the audios, which took a good bit of time, and I loved hearing the nurses’ stories in their own voices. I could hear the passion for their work as they talked about the challenges and most rewarding parts of their profession.
It was more difficult than expected to find nurses to participate in the book, which surprised me, but I kept asking, and those who were already participants put out the call to other nurses they knew who might be interested. Suddenly it was March 2020.
The arrival of COVID-19 brought the interview process almost to a halt. Nurses had neither time nor energy to schedule a 30- or 40-minute conference call with me to answer questions. I spent a few weeks catching up with transcribing the interviews I had already completed, wondering where to go from there. At that point, I had only eight interviews ready for the book. As the pandemic raged on, I started doubting whether this project would be able to continue…I almost gave up. But I didn’t want to let the nurses down who had already taken the time to be part of the project.
Synchronicity saved the day! Around the same time as my doubts were surfacing, I attended a virtual writer’s retreat where I received some amazing feedback from two experienced authors and editors. They loved the concept and encouraged me to continue with this important project. One of them gave me the name of a professional book designer in California to work with. I was inspired to get this project back on track.
I dedicated time to take a step back and rethink the interview process. To make it easier for the nurses, I created an online form where they could answer the questions at their own pace, saving their answers to come back and finish later if need be. I also added one more question: “How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work?”
Once again, I reached out to multiple nurses’ groups for more participants who were willing to share their stories. Over the course of the project, I was able to connect with a total of 33 nurses representing 26 different states in the US. It turns out that the number “33” holds special meaning for at least three of the nurses featured in the book so it was meant to be. To meet my 2020 publication deadline, I wrapped up the search for nurses and pulled together all the stories I had.
In Part 3, I’ll share more information about getting the manuscript ready to release, PLUS you’ll get to see the cover. You’re going to love it!
Please remember: It's important to contact a professional if things feel too big for you, whether it be a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or certified EFT practitioner. Never discontinue your current medications without first consulting your doctor.