How I’ve Used National Novel Writing Month to Crush Writing Goals


My fourth fiction novel, entitled Not a Chance, was published on October 31, 2018. It’s a little fitting that NaNoWriMo eve is the release date since I wrote the first draft of this novel during 2014 National Novel Writing Month. Overall I can claim 6 NaNoWri wins, despite crawling to the finish with 2 of them and in my excitement, I forgot to upload them to get official credit. I succeeded in writing more in those months than I thought possible, and that’s all that matters.

I’d tried, and failed, NaNoWriMo several times before that. The difference was that I didn’t find other people to hold me accountable, and I didn’t make writing a priority. NaNoWriMo gives permission to put writing first. Writing is often a very solitary endeavor. It’s all too easy to procrastinate or to unintentionally allow other tasks to fill the day, and say there’s no time to write. NaNo says yes there is, make the time. I could use the same guidelines any month to increase my word count, but there’s something about crushing word count goals in November—one of the months that writing seems almost impossible when the holiday craziness begins. It validates that with passion and persistence, and a little bit of cheerleading and support, many impossible goals become possible.

Aha Media Group 30-Day Challenge

If you’re not ready to start the Great American Novel, try the 30-Day Challenge from the Aha Media Group. This writing challenge promises to make you a better writer in just 5 minutes a day! These are great writers tips worth practicing. Make it a priority and schedule 5 minutes a day to accomplish the tasks.

Are you a Healthcare Freelancer?  

Join our gated Facebook community for an accountability challenge hosted by our SavvyScribe Mastermind members!

Our community is all about supporting one another in our freelance business!  Providing Community, Support, and Accountability so you can take Action to take your business to the next level!

Several of our members, like Maureen,  are focused on their next book and joining #NaNoWriMo.  Still, others are bloggers, vloggers and even brand new at writing!  They will be joining our friends with AHA Media in their 30-Day Challenge.

Our Savvy Scribe Mastermind members are providing daily #FreelanceWriting prompts in our community – plus sharing hacks and tips for achieving success!

Join our sassy community, we’d love to have you!

Hired a Coach, Gained a Community (2)

Hired a Coach, Gained a Community

Community. It’s commonly used to describe where we live, a feeling, or a sense of belonging. This feeling can be based on common attitudes, interests, beliefs or goals, but it isn’t always what you think it will be.

Sometimes it’s better.

A Business Coach Changes Everything

I wasn’t searching for a community when I happened to stumble upon my now beloved business coach, but I certainly found one when she led me to the Healthcare Marketing Network.  

After  writing for a content mill for a few months I had gained experience and built up my portfolio, but it was clear that something was missing.  I needed vision. I acquired said vision as I was searching for business coaches late one night and came across an article about top nursing blogs that Janine Kelbach (my soon to be business coach!) was mentioned in. I emailed her that night, she got back to me the next morning, and just like that the future of my business was forever changed. We started with a short 45 minute meeting and before I knew it, she had given me more than just a few business tips; she’d given me a community full of like-minded entrepreneurs with a thirst for growth and a strong desire to lift one another up.  

Janine, also known as WriteRN, recently told me that her goal when working with new clients is to help them create business goals and a vision for their future. She said that steering new writers towards the Healthcare Marketing Network has been invaluable.

She said, “New writers need accountability, and that can be found through the community at the Healthcare Marketing Network. Writing can be a lonely business, so having others who are willing to help with brainstorming, pitches and keeping us on  track with our goals is very important.

It amazed me that after one coaching session Janine knew exactly what I needed; a community! She told me how to find The Healthcare Marketing Networks website, as well as their gated Facebook Group filled to the brim with people just like me.  

Shortly after ending our first session, I looked up this Healthcare Marketing Network group on Facebook to see what it was all about, and what I found left me nothing shy of exhilarated. Not only did I see a community, but a  successful one full of healthcare writers! I also found great videos with tips and tricks of the trade, helpful articles tailored to writers, other members getting their business questions answered, and everyone enjoying one another’s company. And if that wasn’t enough to have me in awe, what came next was.

Out of the blue, I received a Facebook message from Carol Bush simply stating she thinks she could get me a gig. Being a nurse, I was shocked. Many times in nursing, the common theme is that we eat our young, not that we build one another up. Where was I, Kansas? Nope, but Carol was! After our encouraging exchange via Facebook Messenger we decided to meet.

I now know why she lives in Kansas! She’s like a small, mighty twister all unto herself. She was dynamic, excited, and offered up a wealth of knowledge. She shared pointers with me as well as ideas for several gigs. By the time the phone call ended, I had 3 potential leads and we were planning to meet again. I was still blown away and kept wondering how this small community would continue to touch my journey.

Community Matters

A few days passed and a familiar name showed up in the Facebook Group. Ashley Hay, a fellow writer. I had seen Ashley’s work and her story on another site I frequented. Even though I had never actually spoken to her, I started to feel a sense of belonging again. I was seeing a common theme of people in my writing life. I did get to connect with Ashley and she has experienced a similar journey to mine. She shared with me that the Healthcare Marketing Network has helped her in many ways along her journey, and the message of community was alive and well as we talked. She described that through the Healthcare Marketing Network she has found the “value in connection.” She stated that she often sits down in the evening and goes through the videos on the Facebook page just to continue to grow and learn as a writer. She has been able to connect with clients through the networks Gig Board, as well as build upon her own community. She also feels that accountability is a huge bonus of being a member and has really enjoyed the friendships she has built along the way.

The missing piece in my foundation of community was to meet Janet Kennedy, the other founding member of the Healthcare Marketing Network. She shared her journey of meeting Carol through a Twitter chat and out of that a collaborative friendship with a vision was born. I told Janet my story and she quickly replied that stories such as mine and others are “everyday validation” that the Healthcare Marketing Network is needed by clients and writers alike. She described the network as the missing link to the connection between writers and clients that she’s glad they’ve been able to provide.

Enjoy the Journey

My journey leads me to one of my favorite quotes by Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. I no longer feel alone in my journey as a healthcare writer and I am thankful that late one night I hired a coach, and gained a community.

If you’re a healthcare writer looking for a community to lift you up, help you get gigs, and push you to be better, click below to join The Healthcare Marketing Network today! 


Working With Freelancers: 7 Tips For Hiring Writers

There you are, looking around wondering how you’re going to get everything done on your to-do list.

You look down and see a writing task, then sigh, or maybe silently scream, because the truth is, you just don’t love writing. However, you know it’s an important part of the communication your business has with the world and needs to be done.  

An idea pops into your mind; you could hire a freelance writer to help you!

Hiring freelance writers to help with the tasks you don’t have time for is a great option! They can use their talents to help your business grow to the next level, while you focus on what you do best; running said business!

It’s not that simple though, is it? I mean, where do you even start? Have no fear, answers are here! Read on for a few points to consider before you hire a writer.

1. Clear Scope of Work

Before you hire a freelance writer, be sure to have a clear idea of the project. Experienced freelance writers are very good at picking up a project and running with it, but it makes a better relationship when you start off having a solid idea of what you are looking for.

Key parts of a writing job to have figured out in advance include:  

  • A working title 
  • Approximate word count
  • Style requirements
  • Keywords (at least a few to begin with)

2. Research Freelancers

Once you’ve decided to work with a freelance writer, do some research to find one whose writing style fits you, your brand and the message you want to convey. There are many ways to do this. If you’re looking in the healthcare niche, the Healthcare Marketing Network has fantastic writers!

You can also look on Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook. Just type in “freelance writer” in the search bar, and many people who identify themselves as freelance writers will pop up. Many freelancers who are on social media will also identify their niche, which makes it easier to find the perfect writer for your job.

Many freelance writers have online portfolios where you can read samples of their work. Taking the time to find a freelance writer who seems to be a good fit will help things go smoother.

3. Contract or Letter of Agreement

Freelance writers are encouraged to create contracts for all of the work they do. For shorter projects, a letter of agreement works well. A letter of agreement is shorter than a contract, but still requires two signatures and protects both parties and are written like a form letter.

Here are the relevant sections to include:

  • Services freelancer will provide
  • Services freelancer will NOT provide
  • Deadlines
  • Final deliverables
  • Delivery Terms
  • Payment Terms

4. Expect to Pay Upfront

There are many different payment arrangements in the freelance world. However, many freelance writers will ask to be paid up front. Some require a percentage before work begins and the remainder once a project is complete.  

Some will wait until work is complete to bill for their work, but be aware many will ask for at least a percentage of the total amount due before work begins.

5. Clear Deadlines

Whether you’re having a freelancer write a blog post or helping you write a novel, clear deadlines need to be addressed from the very beginning. For large projects with multiple parts, sit down and map out deadlines with the writer. For shorter projects, make sure a deadline is given and it will work with the writer’s schedule.

This may sound obvious, but sometimes when you talk with a writer, they agree to the work thinking they have plenty of time and things change, and everyone is upset because there was never a deadline set in the first place.  

6. Be Available

Once all the details are worked out, it’s crucial to remain available to answer any questions, comments, or concerns the writer may have.

From a freelance writer’s perspective, sometimes you begin a project thinking you have a good handle on everything, and something comes up you hadn’t discussed. If you can’t get ahold of the person you are writing for within a few days, it makes it hard to deliver by the preset deadline.

7. Be Aware of Scope Creep 

Sometimes, although you’ve spent a great deal of time mapping out the project, something comes up you want to add. When you add something, the scope of the project has changed, and you need to be willing to revisit the agreement and compensate the writer for the additional work.

One thing is certain; working with freelance writers is amazing! They’re very good at working independently and free up time for you to spend on other parts of your business, so you’ll never regret it! 

Looking to hire a writer? Take action today!


5 Steps To a Great Freelance Contract

Freelance work is becoming a much more popular option for people in industries such as computer support, marketing, advertising, and obviously writing. If you intend to head out and find your own freelance work, then you should be prepared to provide a contract for your client to review and sign. In most cases, your clients will not have freelance contracts available, and you want to protect yourself with a contract that outlines your agreement in detail.

Below you’ll find my 5 steps to writing a great freelance contract!

1. Keep It Simple

The preferred way of executing a contract is to work with an attorney to create a comprehensive template and then customize that template for each situation. However, if you cannot afford the services of an attorney or would prefer to handle it yourself, then you will want to develop a contract that protects you as much as possible. You can buy a standard work contract at any office supply store, or you can create your own.

If you decide to create your own contract, then be sure to keep the wording very simple. People have a tendency to include a lot of what they perceive to be legal language that makes the contract appear more official, which I wouldn’t recommend. If you don’t know what something means, I’d suggest leaving it out of your contract.

2. Discuss Copyrights

In most cases, clients will want to put their own name on your work. This is called ghostwriting, and it is common in the freelance world. Whether you are creating marketing designs or writing internet copy, you will want to clearly outline how the copyrights for your work will be handled. If you assign all copyrights to your clients, then remember that you cannot use that work for any other client.

3. Outline A Payment Schedule

Never leave any part of your compensation up to interpretation. Your client may feel comfortable developing payment arrangements on the fly, but that idea should make you very nervous. When you create your contract for a freelance client, you need to include every payment detail that applies. For special work, you can include an hourly work rate or other special arrangements. You should never agree to do work that does not have its compensation outlined in the contract.

4. Define The Quality Of Work Requirements

If you are a creative professional, then you might have freelance clients who ask for endless changes to your work before they agree to pay for it. If you are a service provider, then your client could refuse payment if they do not feel your efforts meet their quality standards. The easiest way to keep your customer happy is to outline those quality standards in your contract.

Your contract should outline exactly what your client expects of you, as well as how many revisions to your work are covered by the contract. If there are changes that need to be made to this section as your relationship with the client evolves, then make the changes within the contract and get the client to initial said changes.

5. Establish Deadline Policies

If you do not work on the weekends, then you need to put that in your freelance contract. Remember that you are not entitled to employee benefits, so you should be extremely specific about when you are available to work. If you work on projects, then be sure that there are deadlines set for every project to avoid having to wait an unknown amount of time for a project to be approved for payment.

Legal advice can be expensive, but it is also essential if you want to develop your own freelance work contracts. However, if talking to a lawyer to get real legal advice is not in your immediate budget, then you should be very careful in how you set up your contracts. By keeping the information simple and dealing with real issues such as pay and deadlines, you will be able to develop contracts that you can use to protect yourself and grow your business.


How Writing Kept Me in Nursing

By the time I found freelance healthcare writing I was desperate. Frantically searching for months, trying to find less physical roles away from the bedside and considering leaving nursing altogether. Chronic illness had thrown a major wrench into my career goals. After years of pridefully perfecting my nursing skills I suddenly felt hopeless, wondering how I could possibly continue to utilize these skills in a way that my mind would be fulfilled and my body wouldn’t reject. The very thought of leaving nursing gave me a queasy feeling.


I had wanted this for so long…worked so hard. It was part of my identity. 


It had been difficult to work the floor as long as I can remember, but I pushed through. I had already endured so much getting to where I was in my career. How could I let this go so easily? My thoughts kept racing backward; nursing school, starting work, night shift, back to school, chasing new opportunities, climbing the clinical ladder – all while trying to find time for constant prescription refills, injections, infusions, specialist appointments and hospital visits.

Maybe I overestimated my physical abilities. Maybe I underestimated the physical nature of nursing, but after a decade of building my career as a young oncology nurse none of it seemed to matter now. This is where I was – in this moment, feeling stuck. Having been on both sides of the bedrails I loved bedside care. However, with time passing and my symptoms progressing rather than improving, it was only getting harder to work.


My body and soul were exhausted.


An increase in chronic pain, fatigue and a barrage of other symptoms made it increasingly difficult to focus. I wasn’t connecting with my patients. I was hardly able to show up for my shifts. Taking care of others is not easy when you are feeling awful yourself. I made accommodations to my situation: gotten on day shift for years, reduced my hours – eventually going per diem, reducing my hours further, moving to more of a desk job, even going out on disability twice in my twenties. Already having made several adjustments over the years, I was forcefully trying to stick with it, stubbornly holding tight to my ego.

It was time to let go and search for a new path. After many hours of internet research I had finally found it. Freelance healthcare writing. It was like a light at the end of a long dark tunnel. I had always possessed a love for writing from a young age. Now I could merge my creative outlet with my wealth of clinical knowledge. But…could I do it? I wanted to try but found myself swirling in self doubt. Did I even have potential as a writer? How do I get started without a lick of prior experience? Networking.

I was fortunate enough to have my first piece picked up by a large website specifically for nurses. It gave me a place to gain my confidence and try out material on those I trusted most – my nursing peers. Their opinions very much matter to me and I seek their approval. However, it was not a position that was going to pay my bills. It was time to think bigger. Reaching out to other freelance writers proved extremely fruitful. They were so willing to help, offering whatever pieces of knowledge they possessed. Through making a few connections I came across the Healthcare Writers Network in it’s infancy. It was fascinating to see many names of writers I had come across before – all coming together in one online community.

This network only gets better each week. There are tons of #freelancefriday videos to learn from other successful writers, leads for work, answers to many burning questions, contests and support. So much support! Yes, finding freelance writing kept me in nursing but this network of writers (and the successful women who lovingly run it) gave me the tools I need to succeed. I’ve met incredible like minded people that genuinely want to help and watch my success grow. That seems to be increasingly rare these days. With that, there’s a wonderful energy that surrounds such a group. Being a part of it only makes you want to be better and strive for more with the added comforts of a support net and valid soundboard.

Through my freelancing journey I have found many things. A new skill, validation in the knowledge I possess after years of nursing, and a community I fit right in with. I am grateful to have found such a place and find I feel more fulfilled with every new article I write and each new connection I make. Best of all, balancing my illness with my work seems to be falling right into place and I am again hopeful for my future in nursing.

Are you a healthcare writer that would like to take your career to the next level? Join The Healthcare Marketing Network!


6 Tips To Success When Working For Past Employers

Lisa commented: I’m hoping I can pick someone’s brain. I work in home health and recently me former employer contacted me about updating the content on their website. She is open to looking at a contract for future services. Any suggestions on what should be included or things I should consider?


Lisa, thanks so much for your question! This has actually happened to me as well and I will walk you through exactly how I handled it!


1.  Thank her

Always, especially in this type of situation, thank the person for thinking of you. No matter the outcome, always thank her now, and in the end. A thank you goes a long way! I learned this back in my nursing aide days. I loved when people noticed or thanked me for my efforts, so nowadays I thank every single person I work with from the tray passer to my director!

2.  Schedule a time to meet

If you’re able to meet with her face to face, do it. Show up dressed like you’re going on a job interview, and try not to talk about your personal life or the previous job. Take on as much as you can to start and build upon it. I always say, never say no to a job because you never know where it could lead you!

3.  Get your portfolio together

If you don’t have a portfolio together, now’s the time to do it! I used for my online portfolio, but I always include another type of printed article that I have had published (usually a few so they see what kind of work I do). Once it looks great give it to her to keep. Don’t just let her look at it and give it back because if it’s hers to keep she’ll likely file it somewhere for future work.

4.  Come with ideas

If you know what she wants for the website, come up with a few ideas. Show her how creative you can be! If you’re not really sure what she needs, try to think on your toes and give her great insight she can’t say no to!

5.  Rates

Oh gosh, the negotiation. I have grown slightly more comfortable with it over the years. It feels like confrontation to me, which I am not a fan of, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. Figure out your rates and what you won’t write for. Make sure you give yourself some wiggle room. She is most likely going to ask “how much do you charge?” Respond with confidence, and you will be surprised what she will say.

6.  Ask to be part of their meetings

If their website is looking for content to keep patients educated, or a blog to attract more patients, you can be an immense help to them. This can also work well for you because you’ll be able to have a retainer client, right in your own area! Ask to be a part of their website meetings in order to grasp exactly what they’re looking for, as well as what you can bring to the table!


Good luck in your adventure with this client, Lisa. Please keep us posted, I am very excited for you!


Are you a business owner, freelancer, or creative?
Become a member of The Healthcare Marketing Network today!


Janine Kelbach, BSN, RNC-OB is a nurse entrepreneur with experience as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, and business coach. She helps solopreneurs/entrepreneurs with her proactive, diverse virtual assistant skills and keeps executives and business owners organized, prioritized, and less stressed.

My Road to Writing and How the HMN Community is Making It Happen

Anyone who knows me personally or professionally, will tell you that I thrive best when I am seeking out new experiences; that I am easily bored when confined to the same nursing job for years, and that I am always in search of neoteric jobs, both laterally and upwardly. On average, I stay at the same job for approximately three or four years, although some have been shorter and some longer. At that point, I start to explore other opportunities.

My new pursuit is writing. Putting pen to paper excites me.

When I went into nursing, I never imagined that I would be writing for medical journals or blogging on the internet. In fact, I was a college graduate who had no interest in pursuing a degree, let alone a Masters.

I started professionally writing when I was enrolled in a Masters of Nursing Program (yes, I caved and obtained a BScN, and reckoned after I should just keep going). Although writing was obligatory, I loved it. I enjoyed the literature reviews, the annotated bibliographies and the frequent analyses of articles (I know it’s crazy, no one likes this stuff). I found that I could write quickly and with substance, both for professionals and lay-persons.

When writing, I get inside my head, which some would consider a dangerous neighbourhood to be in. Joking aside, writing is definitely for me.

I started to write for which is a great nursing community and I have written nine blogs for them. Unfortunately, they are deleting their website but I will be forever grateful to them and to their editor who did so much to encourage me.  

With some blogging experience now on my resume, I started to research different websites that hire writers, for example, Webmd, and Medscape, just to name a few.  Although I didn’t hear back from them when I sent my resume in, I was not to be discouraged.  I came across and read an impressive article on writing by Nurse Beth. It is called ‘How Blogging Helped my Nursing Career’. It is a must read for anyone with this calling. Then, I sent in a question “about blogging” to her link Get Career Advice- Ask Nurse Beth Your Nursing Career Questions” and she answered me right away with kind and encouraging words. She read some of my blogs and told me to continue on my path to become a writer.

That inspired me to keep going. She then urged me to join a closed group on Facebook, called the Healthcare Writer’s Network.

I have found an incredible group of individuals from all over the world, with similar goals and others vastly different. What brings us together however, is our love of freelance writing.

Now, I have joined many groups on Facebook but this group is superior! What the Healthcare Writer’s Network has taught me, is that writing regularly, whether for publication or personal journaling, provides an abundance of benefits. It’s a means of self-exploration and reflection, a clever way to learn and stay current, and surprisingly it turns you into a ‘writer’. Other rewards are:

Personal and professional growth:

  • Its therapeutic.
  • It leads to mindful living.
  • It demands self-discipline and confidence to generate thought-provoking work.
  • It’s a valuable tool for reflecting, articulating, and creating.
  • Positive reactions from readers leads to gratitude and motivation to write more.
  • Constructive feedback incites you to outshine yourself next time.

Enrichment for others:

  • Through frank writing, empathy, and disclosure of candid feelings and experiences, one can foster a relationship with readers.
  • Powerful writing can impassion, inspire, transform minds and history, open doors and build communities.

Increased learning and productivity:

  • The attractiveness of writing is that one can write about anything. Topics are limitless. Learning is boundless.
  • Writing is a syntactical discovery of language.
  • It improves vocabulary, working memory, communication, critical thinking, empathy, insight and decision making.  

New opportunities and extra income:

  • Blogging and writing can lead to compensation for product reviews, guest blogging, endorsements, interviews, consultations, conferences and speaking engagements (Nurse Beth, 2016).

Emotional and physical benefits:

  • In his article ‘The Psychological Benefits of Writing: Why Richard Branson and Warren Buffett Write Regularly’, Gregory Ciotti maintains that expressive writing has been associated with happiness, contentment and decreased stress for those who absorb themselves in prose frequently.
  • Nightly writing can improve sleep, depression, hypertension and other physical ailments according to one ‘Health and Well-Being’ study (Huffington Post, 2013).

Despite obtaining no fame or wealth from my writing (so far), it is something that I enjoy. The subjects I could write about are truly endless. Mostly, I like to write on topics that will help day-to-day nurses strengthen their assessments.

Ultimately, this is helping the patient. Therefore, writing is still nursing.

I performed all the exhilarating things in nursing, the code blues, the defibs, the hand-holding of the dying, the comforting of family, the stumbling upon a symptom that wasn’t there before, and the straightforward task of dispensing medication. I love nursing and all the confidence and prospects it has brought me.

I love writing too. It calms me and excites me at the same time. In nine short months, I have issued two peer-reviewed nursing articles, published multiple blogs and am a volunteer editor on an editorial board.

Its exhilarating to go after your dreams. I have found a few writing jobs that pay too!!

I searched on using words such as ‘content writer’, ‘health writer’ and ‘medical writer’.  Since then, I have obtained three freelance jobs. Now, I am not giving up my day job yet, but that option is getting closer each time I write.  

I am not always good at keeping up with my goals, so I made my writing goal small but achievable. I set up a small office space in my house with a ‘vision board’ and whiteboard calendar where I document my jobs so I don’t lose track.

I bought myself a small portable tablet which I can throw in my purse which allows me to write virtually anywhere.

I promised myself that I would write 30 minutes per day.  What happened is I wrote more… sometimes writing an hour… or two… or three. GOAL MET!

I still write for free at this point, or write for a small amount of money, but it adds to my resume and that means gold to me.

If you aren’t afraid to take your time searching for jobs, even in the weirdest places, you can find work.  I am currently writing for and  They are websites that provide health information on a variety of subjects.  Although they guide me when deciding on topics, I am free to write in any form I wish.

Since joining Healthcare Writer’s Network, I have interacted with many people who want to see me succeed.

We all post different things in the group to help each other meet our writing goals. I have to admit, I find myself excitedly rushing home and signing in to Facebook to see who has posted new information in this group. Whether its “How to Make a Podcast” or “How to Pitch Your Article” I am learning a lot and am grateful to this group for all of their assistance.

The advantages of writing are endless. Write about passion. Write about challenges. Write often. Just write.



How Blogging Helped my Nursing Career

The Top 10 Benefits Of Blogging On Your Website

Benefits of Blogging – Reasons You Should Start A Blog For Personal Development

The Psychological Benefits of Writing: Why Richard Branson and Warren Buffett Write Regularly

6 Unexpected Ways Writing Can Transform Your Health


A Simple Guide to Citing in APA Format

Alene N. asked: Does anyone know the format for properly citing a YouTube video as a reference? I tend to use APA format.


Alene, this is a great question that I wanted to expand on because many clients prefer APA format and if you’re writing for health publications, they may even require it.


What is APA Format?

APA is  format is used by the American Psychological Association (APA) and frequently used for citing sources in the psychology, education, and social science areas. Another style you’ve probably heard of is MLA, and changing back and forth can be difficult. Many students spend years learning one style, then they’re asked to produce a paper in a different one. This happened to me in nursing school. I had always used MLA format, until my first nursing school paper, then I learned APA.

Resources and Examples

When citing something, in text or in a reference bibliography, it can be difficult at first to write in APA format. There are a lot of little rules, but here are the most common citing rules you will come across:

1. Citing more than 3 authors – When citing in text three authors or more, you first cite them in the paragraph, then et al.,year following the first. For example:

Kelbach, Kennedy, and Bush (2017) developed….

Kelbach et al. (2017) developed…


2. Citing at the end of the sentence – When citing at the end of the sentence, you always parenthese the last names and year. For example:

Thirty-minutes of exercise helps the body become healthier (American Heart Association, 2017).


3. Always alphabetize your References – When making a bibliography page for the client, always alphabetize and create a hanging indent on your page.


4. Citing in text – When citing your author in text, you want to include the date. For example:

Kelbach (2017) mentions to get yourself organized, you have to stick to a plan.

Multiple authors Kelbach and Bush (2017) strive for weekly meetings to stay on track.


5. Double Space – Another rule when writing APA content, unless your client tells you otherwise is to double-space your work. According to the APA manual, work must be double-spaces, including your references.


One of the best resources out there for APA format is Purdue Owl, which I love because it’s always up to date and makes proper formatting super easy!

I hope this helped simplify things a little for you, and good luck!


Are you a freelance healthcare writer, author, or communications creative?
Become a member of The Healthcare Marketing Network today!


Janine Kelbach, BSN, RNC-OB is a nurse entrepreneur with experience as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, and business coach. She helps solopreneurs/entrepreneurs with her proactive, diverse virtual assistant skills and keeps executives and business owners organized, prioritized, and less stressed.

Scholarship Winners Announced!


Well, the coaching scholarship contest has ended and first and we want to thank everyone who applied! What an amazing opportunity! Woo Hoo!

We were blown away by how responsive you were and although it was a tough decision, it was incredibly insightful to see the different things great writers like you are having a hard time with. The thing to remember is no one knows everything and struggles are a normal and important part of the journey!



We had a patron of the Healthcare Marketing Network donate to assist in paying it forward by way of the Healthcare Freelance Writer Scholarship. The Scholarship was set up to assist clinicians of multiple disciplines who want to share their expertise through blogging and other creative mediums. The Scholarship provides coaching, mentoring and connections to smooth the transition to freelance business success.

We heard from our tribe that access to a coach and accountability partner would be a huge value. That feedback came via the Coaching Connections blog post series, through email and in the Healthcare Writers Network Facebook Group.

It didn’t take long for us to realize that many members were struggling with their business, time management, or even getting started with freelance writing.

And that’s okay, because we did…. and sometimes still do…struggle too!

Everyone does!



After a very difficult evaluation of the members coaching applications, the scholarship selection  committee has made their decision and awarded three lucky writers with great coaching opportunities!

Laser Focused Session Winners:

  • Maureen Bonatch, MSN,RN

During the laser focused session we are going to focus on meshing Maureen as a freelance writer/fiction writer, perfecting her online presence, and/or revising her resume to focus on her ultimate career goal. After the call, she will receive an action plan detailed specifically to her!

  • Vicky Warren, LPN 

During Vicky’s laser focused session we are going to look at how Vicky can make more time in her day and how to bring out her creativity for passive income ideas. After the call, she will receive an action plan detailed specifically to her!

Grand Prize Winner:

  • Tricia Hussar, RN

Tricia is going to get 3 one-on-one 30 minute laser focused sessions (over a 2 month period). I am making them over 2 months so we can really get her business off the ground (as they say, “Rome wasn’t build in a day”). With every session, just like the other winners, she will get an action plan detailed just for her!

I am here to help be Tricia’s accountability partner to reach her goals, giving her the tips and tools throughout this journey. We are also going to focus on her LinkedIn profile and building up her writing career. She is starting out with her blog and needs help with ideas and how to take it to the next level.

Please keep a lookout on the Healthcare Marketing Network where  Tricia will be blogging about her journey establishing a freelance business.

Congratulations to ALL!


. . . . .

Are you looking for a tribe?

Join the Healthcare Marketing Network & get your questions answered.  Ask for feedback from your peers.  Share YOUR success tips with other healthcare freelancers in the Community Forum! Connect with clients who need healthcare writers and editors via the Gig Board!   Participate in contests to win prizes like #Pitchfests and this Scholarship!

Want to learn more?

Contact me! I respond to every email and love to make connections with those who need my help!

Click here to follow my wins and “not so cool moments” on my own freelance journey! Cool freebies and tips for all writers, too!


Janine Kelbach, BSN, RNC-OB is a nurse entrepreneur with experience as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, and business coach. She helps solopreneurs/entrepreneurs with her proactive, diverse virtual assistant skills and keeps executives and business owners organized, prioritized, and less stressed.

Pitchfest Winners Round-Up (allnurses)!

A few months back, our friends at allnurses sponsored a Healthcare Writers Network Pitchfest and we’re happy to say they chose 6 great pitches from our community of talented writers!

Today we want to share those articles with you and invite you to connect with the great writers behind them!

So, without further ado, in no particular order, here are the 6 winning articles:


1. Connecting to Your Focus in Times of Uncertainty by Anne Llewellyn

Nurses are frustrated and leaving the profession at record rates. Maintaining your focus as to why you entered the profession is critical as it will allow you to be successful in your career. In this article, I share tips that will help you be successful during disruptive times…

2. How My Experience As A Teen Mom Shaped My Passion for Obstetrical Nursing by Jessica Rockowitz

As an OB/GYN RN and Health Educator for a low-income clinic in downtown Philadelphia, my passion has always been to serve the underserved. What my patients didn’t realize was how my own experiences as a teenage parent had shaped me into the clinician that I became…

3. Raising the Next Generation of Nurses by Sarah Matacale

As a Mom who has been a nurse in various fields as well as in the stay-at-home arena, I feel a tremendous responsibility to raise my children to contribute and change the world. I have identified many attributes in my daughter that I believe are going to lead to a career in nursing, in some way. I want to foster that sparkle I see in her soul. I want to raise a confident, strong-minded, caring, compassionate critical thinker that may become part our next generation of nurses. How do we do that?…

4. Because Living Is So Much More Than Surviving by Alene Nitzky

Despite advances in cancer treatment that have led to higher rates of survival after treatment, the medical approach has continued to treat a patient with a disease, and though the disease often goes into remission, a patient remains. Helping cancer survivors restore their quality of life after treatment requires skill and a level of expertise that encompasses empathy, a focus on their quality of life, and is holistic in its approach. Nurses are the ideal professionals to lead this change…

5. Nurses: The Unsung Heroes by Andrea Suzane

Nurses save lives too…. Personal experiences at the bedside that have helped me in my transition from novice nurse to seasoned patient advocate throughout my career. Priceless experiences outlined from helping new graduate nurses gain valued experience and confidence to getting a patient transferred to a major university medical center for life-saving treatments…

6. From NCLEX Failure to Confident Nurse by Carrie Madormo

When I failed the NCLEX, I thought my nursing career was over before it started. Fortunately, this failure was a gift that taught me five important lessons.


There you have them; the 6 very deserving winners of the allnurses Pitchfest!

Once you’ve had a chance to read these downright amazing articles please feel free to reach out to the writers and congratulate them for a job well done!

Encouragement and community are key in the world of freelancing…so go ahead and hit that click to tweet above!!

Would you like to sponsor a #Pitchfest within the Healthcare Marketing Network?  It’s a fun way to support healthcare freelancers AND fill your content que at the same time!  Contact Katie: to learn more!