Spotlight on Writing

Time. It’s something most of us struggle with, and there is never, ever enough. But, for the moment I finally have time and energy to unstick myself, give myself a swift boot up the you-know-what, and start writing again. Yesterday I wrote about five hundred words, which doesn’t sound like much at all. But considering the last few weeks I’ve barely been able to squeak out a hundred in one sitting, I am taking that as some decent progress.

I know it’s impossible for a brain to be so full that it stops learning, but is entirely possible for it to become overwhelmed with information. And that has been a giant problem for me over the last few weeks. I was trying to cram as much nursing knowledge into my head in order to pass my exam, and then also researching a whole bunch on Ancient Greece for the chapter. It culminated in a classic introvert issue: I became overstimulated.

I stopped listening to podcasts, I stopped reading non-fiction books. Usually, these things both inspire me to keep writing, because as I come across new information and techniques it spurs me to put it into practice. But lately I found anything that added to the background drone of information was too much, and had to be pared back. I said to myself, okay. Cut back to an hour after dinner, and that’s all I can manage. But even that was a challenge, because invariably by the time my writing time rolled around, I was too exhausted to create.

But that’s okay, I think, to step back every once and a while, especially if you have something big coming up as I did. It’s not forever, so don’t panic if you aren’t getting your five hundred (or a thousand, or five thousand respectively) words a day. Life happens. Without the ups and downs of life, we’d be terrible writers, our characters flat and two-dimensional. So, embrace the busy times and know that writing will always be there for you when things calm down.

Personal Update

Last blog post, I wrote about patience and waiting. This post is pretty much the opposite. Life has been an absolute whirlwind. I took the exam last Friday, and it was awful. It felt like every single question was a guess, even though I had studied incessantly over the last few months. The thing is, NCLEX is a computer-adaptive test. What does that mean, exactly? The test starts with a question of average difficulty, and it scales the difficulty of questions up or down depending on your competency level. And because it’s always challenging your knowledge and giving you the hardest questions you can handle, even if you’re doing well it feels like a struggle. It also has a minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 265 questions. My computer shut off at the minimum, which I translated to mean that either the computer had decided I was amazing, and it didn’t need to test me any longer, or that I was a total failure, and there was no point in giving me any more questions. I’m pleased to say it must have been the former, because I passed. Phew!

Then, on Monday, I found out I got a job as an OR nurse in one of my local hospitals, which I’m quite excited about. I’m under no illusions—it’s still going to be different and challenging working in a new country, and familiarizing myself with a new workplace. But the wait is finally over! It was a ridiculously long process, and there were moments when I wondered if it was worth the bother. But I’m finally here. I can officially call myself a registered nurse (again).

The picture below was taken during an orthopedic trauma conference in 2016, and is of an ORIF (open reduction/internal fixation) of the fibula bone. One of the screws, a lag screw, is purposefully drilled at an angle to help draw the edges of the fracture in alignment. Can’t wait to get back to it!

Picture depicts the ORIF of a fibula, taken at a conference I attended five years ago. Time flies!