Award-winning author of medical thrillers and Italy travel books. Retired ICU RN, travel blogger, and Italy lover
I’ve always believed we can do more than one thing in life, that our destiny is not carved in stone, or preordained. Just realizing we have the power to make our own choices in life is huge, but to make things happen and achieve our goals, we need to stay focused.
I’ve been fortunate to have had a life-long career as a critical care nurse, and even more important, to have enjoyed it and found fulfillment in the work I did. My heart goes out to all those nurses working today during the pandemic because the stress is exponentially higher than anything I experienced in my forty-plus years in ICU’s.
But life doesn’t end after retirement, and while I was still working as a nurse, I discovered a second career as a writer, which continued to evolve after I retired from nursing, almost seven years ago. Writing provides a voice for me to express my thoughts and feelings about anything that matters to me. The income my books generate pales in comparison to my nursing salary, but at this stage of my life, financial gain is no longer the primary goal.
I’ve discovered that writing allows me the opportunity to engage with others and the ability to encourage anyone to make their dreams come alive. The key is understanding what’s important in life, what you’re passionate about, is to instill a sense of purpose.
Dedication to that end makes every effort worthwhile. Age doesn’t matter; you can be eighteen or eighty. It’s never too soon or too late to make a realistic plan to achieve a goal, if you have enough determination.
I always liked writing, although I never considered it as a career. I started writing limericks as a child, and later, wrote headlines for my high school newspaper. As a young adult, I occasionally submitted letters to the editor, and later, created and wrote a satirical humorous newsletter for my colleagues as a young nurse in a Tampa hospital. My first serious writing began as a contributing writer for La Gazzetta Italiana, an Italian-American newspaper out of Cleveland, Ohio, my hometown. The newspaper didn’t, and still doesn’t, pay their writers, who submit articles out of a passion for Italy. It’s sort of a way to give back. Seeing a byline for the first time was a thrill for me, and I still write for them a few times a year.
I began to write for online sites like Yahoo Travel and several other content mills, where they’d pay $10-$25 an article, but I liked it. Ultimately, I created my own blog, Margie in Italy, so I could detail a three-month solo trip to Italy through my writing and photos, and continue that today. Eventually, I became a social media manager for an Italian hotel company and was tasked with managing their blog, which involved writing, finding other writers, and editing. The job grew into a lucrative assignment that included a few perks like occasional hotel stays, meals, and Italian experiences, and after four years, that ended.
By then I was retired from nursing and made my Italy travel memoir books my predominant focus. Not sure whether I could make the leap to another genre, but yearning to write about things that happen in the healthcare world, I researched the thriller genre and have recently written two medical thrillers, Critical Cover-Up and A Cure for Deceit which has been well received.
You never know unless you try.
Writing brings me joy and no matter what it is that makes you happy, I encourage you to do it. It will be a learning experience and definitely provide you with a sense of accomplishment. You may have heard this saying, credited to Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, in remarks before the University of California on March 23, 1931. “There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” I think it’s true. What do you think?
Make things happen!
Check out another inspiring story “Running the Marathon with Cancer, by Doug Limbrick.“