Monday, October 5, 2015

When my Bi-vocational Worlds Collide: 7 Things I Learned

I am a writer. 

I am a nurse practitioner.
(little too uber-serious look for ShowMeYourStethoscopeCampaign, lol)

It's taken me eleven years to understand that this makes me bi-vocational. Only recently have I understood that one role doesn't have to compete with the other. Both have a place in my life. But balancing the two can be fun, interesting, and uniquely comparative at times.

In the course of the last three weeks, I've attended two very different conferences: ACFW & AAFP

ACFW is American Christian Fiction Writers, where nearly 500 writers and others in the industry gathered in Dallas, TX.

AAFP is American Academy of Family Physicians, where nearly 4,000 family practice physicians, and a few family nurse practitioners gathered in Denver, CO.

My head and my heart are still spinning with the spiritual and intellectual download, and I'm still sifting through to see what might "stick".

In the space of three weeks, I've been in six different airports, six planes, two airport trains, city trams, hotel shuttles, a town car, and a taxi. I averaged 10,000 steps a day, slept very little, and drank much coffee. I worshiped, studied research, ate awesome food, glimpsed the mountains of Denver, and the felt the dry 98-degree winds of Dallas as I traveled with two different groups of four.

Nutella Crepe with bananas and strawberries from Creperie in Denver

7 Things I Learned: (in no particular order of significance or seriousness)

I learned that for accuracy you no longer need to fast before drawing a cholesterol panel, but for effectiveness you should fast when praying. And that abiding in God is as important as abiding to a healthy lifestyle.

I learned that not all healing is curative.
Yet, the cure we crave is a story of meaningful experience.

I learned at AAFP from Kelly McGonigal's talk, that not all stress is bad especially if it's meaningful. Here's a link to her popular TED talk with 9 million hits: Kelly McGonigal TED talk. While at ACFW, in Allen Arnold's class, I learned that we sometimes create our own stress in the quest to create meaningful writing if we believe "it's all up to 'Me'" instead of refocusing on a co-creative experience with God.

I learned that while laughter with friends may contribute to urinary stress incontinence (no pics for this, but it might include crossing one's legs tightly, lol), laughter holds great healing powers for the soul and spirit. However, Kegal exercises may not cure urinary incontinence, but can improve control by 57% it if done faithfully and is recommended as first-line treatment.

I learned that while the written and spoken word hold immense creative power, my creative power source can dry up and become essentially orphaned if I don't lengthen my ratio of listening for God vs. speaking to God. And I learned that the average doctor interrupts their patients within the first 18 seconds (no studies for Nurse Practitioners were found). Listen. Listen. Listen. 

I learned that a study in New Zealand proved "gossipy" magazines were stolen from the doctor's office waiting rooms 96% of the time over a month's time versus "non-gossipy" magazines. If this can be extrapolated to Christian fiction, books will need to given away because they will rarely be stolen.

I learned that in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, overweight and obese men with hypertension but no diabetes, who drink 2-4 cups of coffee a day were less likely to have ED. However, drinking 2-3 cups of coffee right before pitching your work of fiction to an editor, contributes to nervousness and shaking.

And I learned that not every Starbucks in downtown Denver is open at 6:30 a.m., but Caribou Coffee is open early and is just as yummy-awesome, especially when shared with family and friends.

Conferences can be tools to learn and refresh.
 Tell us what kinds of conferences you've been to and what pieces of learning did you bring home that "stuck"?
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. I have a pic! let me go find it . . . ;)
    Love this post, Anne

  2. I can't imagine being smart enough to be bi-vocational even though I guess maybe with four boys you kind of have be something.

    1. Jennifer. there are all sorts of intelligence in this world. Not all of it is book-smart. I was a terrible reader, believe it or not. I had to attend special reading classes and summer school. I still have trouble processing sometimes. But reading and writing are like a disciplines that forces me to process. Determination is priceless. Oh, and I'm the blogger with a son and daughter in college--thank goodness, I was never cut out to be a mom of four boys! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Enjoyed your post and the comparisons, Anne - gave me a laugh while learning a thing or two, lol. I considered myself bi-vocational those years when I worked more than one job at a time, as well as those when I worked during the day, and went to college at night. Since, I'm professionally retired, I no longer attend work conferences, however, I attended a women's Christian Conference in Aug. - & had the privilege of hearing Kim Vogel Sawyer speak at 3 sessions. Her writing journey and spiritual testimony (which included her healing) were both inspiring to me.

    1. Bonnie, you have a wealth of life experiences. I'd so love to sit and chat over coffee and hear more about them. Balancing life is one skill that all women can relate to whether SAHM, WOHM, or biv-ocational or not. It's always good to get away and hear stories like Kim Vogel Sawyer's. I've never heard her spiritual testimony, I'll bet that was neat! So glad you got to attend!


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