Everywhere you turn you see people giving up their professions to take up writing. Engineer-turned-authors and corporate honchos with author credentials are quite common these days. But rarely does one come across a writer who is a practising doctor by day and a writer by night. Reet Singh, Harlequin Mills & Boon author is one such writer. I invited Reet to do a guest post on what she loves/hates most about her two jobs…Over to Reet!
A doctor by day and a writer by night — what do you love and hate most about your two jobs?
Adite, this is a great choice for a guest post and a topic close to my Physician-Writer heart.
I am not sure if we should call them ‘two jobs’ – writing and the practice of medicine – they are reportedly inextricably linked to each other.
Did you know that Apollo was both the god of medicine and of poetry? And Athene too? It would appear that even mythology supports the truth of my opening lines.
Many revered physicians have been great writers – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Anton Chekov, and Somerset Maugham. More recently – Khaled Hosseini, Atul Gawande, and Abraham Verghese are hailed as Physician-Writers.
What I love about being a Physician-Writer is that my working day is filled with drama. I am surrounded by human emotions: pain, joy, relief, sorrow, grief, happiness. Although I currently write romances – these are ruled by love and happy endings, with only a light sprinkling of jealously, sadness or grief – other, darker, emotions may find their place on the blank pages of a literary piece some day.
I work in an overcrowded government hospital, where the out-patient department is hectic and chaotic. I have mastered the art of writing (patient notes) in short, pithy, expressive sentences. That skill, acquired from my job as a doctor, seems to be working for me the writer.
Amazingly enough, just as doctoring has prepared me for writing, writing helps me deal with some of the anxieties that I infrequently bring home with me – worries related to the occasional patient that doesn’t mend. Rather than let that disturb and distract me, I write. I immerse myself in my current work-in-progress and find healing after a fashion. Maybe that is why I only write happy, feel-good stories.
There is very little that I hate about being a Physician-Writer. Possibly the only problem I have is that there is limited time for writing. I dream of a day when I can retire to a cottage by the beach – one suitably furnished with wine and chocolate and music – along with my muse – so that I can happily write to my heart’s content!
Thanks Reet for the interesting insights. You definitely are in august company. And kudos to you for your dedication towards both your professions!
And now a question for all you readers… how has your ‘day job’/profession helped you to become better writers. Do chime in with your comments!