RNJ Corner: Do you need a writing coach?
Novice writers often find writing for journals intimidating. The internet has brought many other writing opportunities such as blogs, wikis, e-newsletters, etc. Oftentimes these other options can be a 'jump-start' to publishing in a journal or writing a book chapter. What is different, though, is the writing style. On social media, the writing style is conversational versus the scholarly writing in Rehabilitation Nursing. As an example, a conversational style of writing is used in writing articles for the RNJ Corner. Some of you might want to take the next step of writing scholarly articles. You have a great quality improvement project that changed practice in your facility; however, you don't know how to turn it into an article.
In a literature review examining successful ways to increase publications among nurse clinicians in a hospital setting, two themes were found in all of the literature: basic education in the process of writing, and the presence of a writing mentor or coach. Most novice writers and even experienced ones can benefit from having a writing mentor or coach.
The RNJ Editorial Board has been discussing a potential writing mentoring/coaching program for members. Although the board has been talking about mentors, a 'coach' is probably the more accurate term. Mentors focus more on the career development of individuals and have a long-term relationship with their mentees. A coach has a short-term relationship with an individual that is usually focused on a project. In this case, the project would be writing a publishable article. Mentors/coaches who are knowledgeable about the publication process can listen to your fears about writing (perhaps you are still suffering from your 10th grade English teacher saying that you couldn't write), and guide you through the various stages of writing and submitting a manuscript.
Pamala D. Larsen
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