End Of Summer, End Of An Era

In two days time, I will close the doors on my chiropractic practice for good. The week leading up to the finale has been busy. On Friday, one of my first patients will be my last and she and I are going for lunch to celebrate. On September first, when people ask me what I do for work, I will tell them I am a writer.

Being a chiropractor for 23 years has helped me become a good writer of fiction. How is that possible? There are several ways:

  • I hear about people’s lives, their jobs, their families and what they like to do for fun. This gives me a deep reservoir to draw from in creating characters’ basic details.
  • Truth is really stranger than fiction. My patients all have stories to tell. Some of them give me ideas!
  • As a doctor working with people who are in pain, you learn to develop empathy, to stand in their shoes. This also helps develop characters. Especially, the villain of the story who a writer may not fully explore. But I have found that even the scoundrels have a reason for why they do what they do.
  • I have had to learn to be a good communicator. People in pain are emotional, scared and sometimes even angry. Being able to explain, console and reassure is absolutely vital on the patient’s first visit. Good communication means being concise, not muddying the waters with overly complex and/or technical terminology. This is also the goal of the writer. Unless of course you are writing a technical manual!
  • Last but not least, I have had to actually do some writing. I’ve written countless reports for insurance companies, attorneys and claims adjusters. You learn a certain writing style in composing letters and compiling examination findings. While this doesn’t translate directly to fiction writing, it does give you practice in consistency and flow.

I cannot say whether or not I will miss being a chiropractor. I can say that I am excited to begin the next chapter of life. After a little vacation planned for next week, I will return to my war story with renewed dedication this September. And I will work at it as my full time job.

Happy writing and productive editing!

45 thoughts on “End Of Summer, End Of An Era

  1. Congratulations on your contributions to your community as a chiropractor–so important–and best wishes for many future contributions to your writing community, which I’m happy to be a small part of. I am selfishly hoping for lots of contributions, starting with your war novel, which I can’t wait to read!

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    1. Thank you so much, Rebecca! I’m very excited to get back to writing it, after all the research I’ve been doing. Hopefully the first draft will be finished by the end of the year. It’s been set aside for too long! I am so glad to have you in my community too!

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    1. Thanks so much, Andy! The giving up the day job is as much about a potential move as it is about pursuing another career. More on that as the details get sorted!

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  2. Such a huge step Meg! Congrats that you can do this and be a writer for various projects (including your war one) full time. You must be so excited! I wish you the best and look forward to reading more of your work and hearing these interesting stories, at least in a fictional setting 🙂 cheers to you 🥂

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    1. Thanks so much! I’m grateful to have the chance to concentrate on writing the book after all the reading I’ve done. I hope to try traditional publishing for this one so it may be a long wait to see it published! Hopefully not too long!

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  3. It’s wonderful that you’re able to do what you love. And how nice it is to know that you’ve made a difference in people’s lives during your time as a chiropractor.

    When people ask me what I do, I have no idea what to say. I feel very self-conscious and embarrassed that I’m unemployed. Maybe I need to make something up?

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    1. Thank you! I’m going to try this through traditional publishing which will likely mean a long wait. But in the end may be a better option. You’re a writer, Sandra. Don’t for a minute think you are not. You’re also an artist. That is what you tell people, my dear! ❤️

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      1. I think traditional publishing is kind of the ultimate writing goal… and it’s a great one to have.

        I guess I don’t feel at all justified saying either of those things since I’m not earning anything for either of them. I should be doing more but I can’t find the will to do do much of anything. I wish I knew how to get motivated…

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      2. Compensation doesn’t define your vocation. If you produce works of art, you are an artist, the same for writing. I’ve read more than I’ve written this year. It’s not like I don’t have ideas, I seem to be lacking in the discipline to get down to it. I hope you find your motivation, too. ❤️

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    1. Thanks, Rita! Fortunately, I’ve been easing into this for a few months now. I am excited to concentrate on writing for a while. And maybe work in a writing related field part time, too!

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