What I Learned When I Forced Myself to Write

Writing every week wasn’t something that came easy to me. This is how I did it.

Craig Spencer MD MPH
Creators Hub

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Photo: Jeremy Lapak / Unsplash

I don’t consider myself a writer. As an emergency room doctor, I’m more at ease treating heart attacks than putting words on a page.

Yet I’ve published a new piece nearly every week for the past six months. When I first started writing on Medium, my intention was to translate the challenge of working in an ER during the pandemic into words and help people understand the real impact of Covid in the U.S. and across the world.

At the outset, the task seemed daunting, especially for a non-writer. My friends suggested I was biting off more than I could chew. I understand why — I already had two jobs, my second kid was newly born, and most importantly, I wasn’t a writer. Sure, I’d published some things before, but doing so was always a massive lift.

For example, in December 2020, I published a piece in the Atlantic that took over a week to write. Seven days for 600 words. I began to worry how I would tackle that task every week, while making my pieces relevant. When asked for advice, actual writers uniformly told me: “don’t worry, it gets easier with time.” They were right.

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Craig Spencer MD MPH
Creators Hub

ER doctor | Ebola Survivor | Public Health Professor at Brown University | A Few Other Things