What Comes Next?

I have two jobs at the minute; I have writing work almost every day, and I’m still working some shifts back in cardiology (more-or-less down to one a week now, which is what I wanted before the old ‘rona). I’ve also taken up painting mannequin heads as a hobby (and I’ve sold a few!). Check out my Instagram and Etsy pages!

I think I should count that as a third job, really. I’m going to add them into my freelance tax returns… which also means I’ll get to add lots of lovely art supplies as tax deductible things. I’m not sure how much difference it makes, but I’ll certainly be using it as an excuse to buy more paint and glue and heads. I’d really like to sell more heads, if I’m honest. Not least because my long-suffering saint-like partner would probably be okay with having about twenty or so fewer disembodied heads sitting around the house.

Anyway, I reckon that counts as three jobs. So then I started a Masters in History of Medicine at Newcastle University. I keep thinking ‘well, busy people are busy, busy people get stuff done’, like a mantra to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed, but I’m slightly worried that I’ve taken too much on. All I really want to do is write accessible medical content and paint weird heads. And spend plenty of time with my children, and keep my nursing hat in the ring. And learn how to do history.

History as an academic discipline is very different from clinical and medical reading and writing. The actual history of medicine modules are wonderful, fascinating and exciting, but I have to do a module on how and why we practice history like we do, and it’s hard. I can’t work it out. It’s a completely new language, and a new way of thinking and doing. I think – I’m not sure about this and I should find out before my first essay is due in – that they put references as footnotes on the actual page, rather than a long list at the end. There are so many little things like that where I just don’t know what I’m doing, and it IS a bit overwhelming. And maybe it’s pointless, and maybe it’s selfish. But maybe it’s going to be wonderful. Busy people get stuff done. Anyway, I’m procrastinating.


Published by Elaine Francis

I'm a registered nurse making the jump to freelance writing. I started chronicling my notice period with a view to a smooth segue into full-time writing, but it's become an emotional rollercoaster.

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