I’m never ever going to be a grown-up (vet)
|August 24, 2022||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
(and that’s ok).
Going to vet school was a little bit like buying name brand clothes and thinking that was going to fix the reason I felt like such a mis-fit in my primary education years.
As a very grown up child that didn’t fit in with her peers, it was a bit of a surprise to learn that I was a silly adult who also….didn’t fit in with her (vet) peers. At least the vets that seemed to matter early on. The grown-up vets. You know, the ones that are held up as the examples of the vet world that I thought I was supposed to be aspiring to. The ones that taught at prestigious universities, wrote papers to be discussed ad noseum in journal clubs for the next two decades, and owned high producing practices.
Most of the time I feel like a pig wearing pearls when trying to navigate the realm of my colleagues.
I’ll never be asked to speak at a fancy convention or see my work referenced 1 million times. I’ll never be featured as a valued member of any veterinary community, and I’m pretty sure that those same clubs really would like to verify credentials just to let me in the door.
I’m better at taking a budget and making something work then I am explaining all your options and being the person that does the best medicine that money can buy. Best medicine bores me. So does writing serious articles.
And thus we get to the heart of this post.
If it bores me to write serious articles, why the hell would anyone read them?
I have no interest in writing articles where people will read the first paragraph and decide to put it away for later when they can “really concentrate.” My goal is to grab the reader at the mail box and have them read that entire article before they realize it, standing in their driveway. I don’t want them to read the first paragraph introduction, think they have the most relevant take aways, and save the article for later when they have time. Because it won’t be read. Ever.
What I have learned is that lots of vets that I greatly admire because of just how darn smart and talented they are at medicine (the grown up vets in my life), dislike my style of writing. Sigh.
At first I was confused. “What’s wrong with it? Is it not accurate? Not readable?”
It was a slow realization over multiple instances that the push-back had nothing to do with content, accuracy of my writing, or quality of my research. It’s about the style, ie “my approach.”
“You aren’t being serious enough. This is an important subject and deserves a serious look.”
There are many roads to the minds and hearts of the reader and not all of them rely using ten dollar words and a formulaic introductions that give it all away in the first paragraph.
Most of the time my goal really is to explain what we know and what we don’t and let our readers come to their own conclusions. Just like a science article – not an opinion article. I’m just framing the conversation differently.
Can I write scientific journal style? Yes. And I have and I am published in that realm too. But, there is validity in the other kind of writing I do too. And the problem is….I feel like while scientific journal writing is important as part of the scientific process and I greatly admire the vets and scientists that are contributing towards that body of work…most of us don’t have the energy or time to read it. I’d rather write for the masses, spark some curiosity, and get someone to read about something they otherwise would never have been exposed to because I wrote it in a relatable and entertaining way.
A pig with pearls is still a pig but it was the moment that I decided that choosing the *right soundtrack for my cat eye worm video to post on TickTock was the most important task of the day that I realized that I was a very happy piglet.
*(The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out is definitely the best sound track for that cat eye worm video. Obviously. But what about the one for stick tight fleas? Maybe if I google names of songs that contain “tightrope”….)
And as for never growing up? I had some very rough years in the 25-35 year decade where I did all sorts of grown up things. Now I’m focused on 35-45 and it’s is going to be awesome. I’m young enough to do anything, old enough to know better. I’ve learned that a remarkable life is more important than a long one (and I suspect I won’t be granted the latter). Instead of striving to be more grownup and taken seriously, I’ve decided to have the goals of a child – large unrealistic ones – because having dreams and goals creates a purposeful life, even as the goals fall away or change.