If you’ve taken a stroll through my website, you’ve probably landed on my About page (if not, go there now!). It’s a bit of a meandering stroll through careers, and maybe that isn’t unfamiliar to you. We often change careers, averaging around three to seven times. If you’re older, it’s on average up to almost 12 times!
I wanted to take some time to tell you about my career path and how I want to help people who help others.
Although writing was my first love, I had wanted to be a psychiatrist who studied sleep to a child & adolescent psychiatrist since I was in my teens. After I got my BA in psychology, I was a mental health worker and then as a project manager at Northwestern University. I took those positions to make sure that I really did want to serve people as a psychiatrist. And I did, until I tried to take pre-med classes in a post-bac program.
I tried pursuing pre-med classes three times within 12 years, and every time I was sick. The last time I tried, I was highly anemic. My ferritin levels were so low, I needed a hematologist and two infusions of iron! During that tiring time, I made two C’s in chemistry and physics.
I was 30 years old, and I knew I was at a crossroads: should I keep trying to pursue this dream or pick up an old one?
That was when I decided I wanted to pursue writing — again. It was a childhood dream I abandoned as not practical enough. And back in the 80s, that would have been the right assumption to make. Fiction was king, and I knew creative writing was a tough road to hoe.
Medicine made practical sense: there would always be people who needed your help. As a profession, you go into medical school and come out a doctor. In a sense, it was a very safe path.
Yet even my parents, both medical professionals, weren’t thrilled with my choice to pursue medicine as a career.
That’s only because back in the 90s, they could already see the writing on the wall about America’s healthcare system. Child psychiatry in particular needs more doctors in the field, but it’s a tough field.
Although it was hard to be working at a medical school, watching the sea of white coats float around campus, wishing I was wearing one…I know that my chronic anemia was a blessing in disguise. It helped me to re-route and find a better career path for me.
I had learned so much about severe mental health illness on the front lines. I saw the impact of trauma and mental health issues on children and adolescents who were in child welfare.
It was really hard to leave that all behind to pursue a career in writing.
But I did. For a little bit.
Fast forward through a certificate program at Northwestern and a MFA in Creative Writing, concentrating in Creative Nonfiction. I graduated from grad school five years ago, and along the way, did grant writing, technical writing, and content marketing writing.
Still, I was left wondering — how I was going to marry my love for mental health and my love for writing? I didn’t know if it was really a viable option for me.
I’m a content marketing writer, which means I write things that help make people more aware about individuals and businesses through helpful content. Blog posts are a part of that, along with white papers, case studies, and articles.
What I had envisioned for mental health content were bylined articles in publications, where I had to basically be a freelance journalist and pitch stories.
I’ve done a lot of pitching in other industries such as transportation and B2B marketing. I have to admit: it’s a bit tiring to come up with topics, even from a marketing angle.
Last year, I had ghostwritten an op-ed for a mental health advocacy organization and it felt like I had seen a bit of the promised land. It was a dream assignment, writing about children and mental health, just like I had helped study years ago. I have always wanted to do that type of work again.
But how this all came together was a bit of a lightning bolt experience.
I’m in a content marketing writers group and I kept seeing people talk about how they write about mental health without much of a professional background. They were just passionate about the topic. They were able to help their clients take complex, clinical topics and create content for a general audience.
It made me think, why am I not focusing on this group of people? These are my people! And I have much more professional and educational experience!
Here’s a condensed version of my relevant educational and career background:
After repeatedly seeing those posts, I knew it was time to focus on a decades-long passion in my lifelong passion of writing.
What I’m focusing on now is working with mental health professionals who are ready to get their message out into the world on a larger scale. I help them to become the go-to authority in their field using their unique genius.
If you’re a mental health professional* reading this and wondering if we should work together, here’s what I’m looking for:
I know it can tough juggling finding new clients, serving current clients, and keeping up with a blog or other written content. So I’d love to help you do what you do best and communicate your unique genius out to the world.
So how do I help? Here’s my current offering for my writing services, The MHP Blog Post Package. It’s a quarterly package of weekly blog posts, 12 in all, written ahead of time, which can be especially helpful during the holidays (which are just around the corner!).
I really want to put my education, expertise, and experience to work for you, so you can focus on your clients.
If you want to learn more about this offering, or about what I do and how I can help you grow your business with captivating content, let’s chat soon. Book a free, 30-minute call with me (this link will take you to my calendar).
* I’m also open to people in other helping professions. I’ve worked with attorneys, medical professionals, health & wellness coaches, and others.
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