Friday, November 8, 2013

DSM-5 Now Available in eBook

The DSM-5 is now available in e-book. This electronic version of the DSM-5 is continually updated, so should stay up-to-date. It also has links to American Psychiatric Association (APA) resources.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mission Control

Even with 3 daisy-chained displays, I still didn't have enough screen space. Ordered a $99 USB display from Amazon. One USB connection for both data & power. Works with the other 3 connected thru monitor port. I can mouse across all 4. And -- it rotates and stands on end so can be landscape or tall and skinny. Flat, light, fits in my laptop case. Fab! Like I said, looks like "mission control" around here!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Friday, June 14, 2013

DSM-5 is Finally Here!

The 947-page Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is now available (after a long wait). The DSM-5 is a must-have if you write about mental disorders. Often joked about as the authority for seeing if you’re crazy or not, the DSM is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the US. And, know that insurance companies use it also. Not in the DSM? No coverage for you!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

In Or Out Of Style?

Are you in style? The AMA Manual of Style (10th edition) is an essential book for writing in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. But, it’s not the only one we use. Occasionally I get asked to use: Associated Press Stylebook (AP), Chicago Manual of Style, or Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). I have the AMA on my bookshelf (hardcopy), but mostly I use the online versions of all so I am always in style!.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wanna Be a Real Pro?

Long drive down the east coast for a 4-day weekend visiting family. Do my clients leave me alone Fri & Mon? (Yes, they knew I was on "vacation.") Noooooo! So between parties and golf games I am laptopping in my hotel room. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. We had some critical items pop up -- and no, they couldn't wait. Wanna call yourself a 'pro'? This is what it takes.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Monday, May 27, 2013

3 Days? 3 Thou?

So, I had a choice of 3 days--going away to NH for Memorial Day weekend, the start of summer. Or making $3K to take a job over the weekend. Hard choice: 3 or 3. I went with the money! You never know when jobs are going to come or not come, so I grabbed it. You know, a bird in the hand...
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

No Rest for The Weary

I work Friday until 6:00pm. Then hop in the car and drive from Boston to New Jersey. Arrive at 1:30am to a rustic lodge way down a dirt road. Pitch black. Everyone is sleeping. Find the last bunk with my flashlight (an upper). Climb into it. Die. Meetings all day Sat. and Sun. Drive home Sunday night arriving late. Back at my keyboard Monday 8:00am. Yup, it is sometimes like this! Freelancers need stamina. (And lotsa coffee!)
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Helping Your Client Chase Clients

What's this mean? Sometimes you have to help your client write a proposal to their client so they can get the work (to give to you). Sometimes you have to go along with your client to a meeting with their client so they can get the work (to give to you). Note that all this is for free -- yes, for free -- it is a expected part of a freelancer's job. Just consider it part of your job search (it isn't all about resumes and interviewing).
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Drug Tests for Freelances?

Yes, drug tests for freelances! What will they think of next! First client that ever asked me this though. Also they require a background check. Oh well, whatever it takes to please the client -- that's what you have to do. Oops, I forgot to ask what bodily fluid they want me to deposit at the clinic -- hmmm...
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Samples! Gimme Samples!

Yes, prospective clients want samples -- proof that you can write before they hire you. Reasonable. However, so much of what I do is proprietary making writing samples hard to come by. I spent a good part of today culling out a paragraph or two. A page or two. Abbreviating. Sanitizing. Looking to highlight my abilities, yet not reveal confidential client information. I love my web samples as they are in plain sight and I can just provide a url. Look me up at DocGuide.com, and search for "Cheryl Lathrop". I've got hundreds of samples there!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Friday, May 10, 2013

Turning Rejection into Direction

I'm looking for freelance work -- asking 100%, being turned down 99.9%. And I always try to remember to turn "rejection into direction." A great phrase taken from the title of John Fuhrman's book: "Reject Me, I Love It! 21 Secrets for Turning Rejection into Direction." As John says: "Being rejected means that the relationship or situation isn’t working, at least for the moment. The individual needs to learn from it and perhaps refine his or her approach." Also, "...make rejection your friend and use it to propel yourself to excellence." So, here goes!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Google Doodle Today

I like to start off my work day with a peek at the "Google Doodle". Today's is super fun! Saul Bass's work (with music by Dave Brubeck!). Had me dancing in my chair! Great way to begin my writing day! I like to end my day with Jay Leno's monologue on The Tonight Show (NBC). Start with a chuckle; end with a chuckle. Helps me get through the middle!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines

I had a "5:00pm COB" deadline today. And, you *never* miss a deadline. Never. You miss sleep, you miss meals, you miss TV, you miss friends -- but you *never* miss a deadline. The client is counting on you as part of the team, and needs to know that you are reliable. And you prove this by *never* missing a deadline. Big sigh of relief when I pushed 'send' this afternoon!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dying for Some More zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Weekend vacay in NH. But, had a (local) client meeting in northern MA, on my way back home Monday morning. Convenient geographically--except--that it was at 8:30am! Up at 4:30am, leave at 5:30am, arrive at meeting on time, chug mucho coffee, and be my sparkling self. Ya do what ya gotta do.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Friday, April 19, 2013

BOSTON STRONG

Don't mess with my city.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Trekking into the City Today

Just cuz I'm "freelance", doesn't mean I always get to stay home and work in my bunny slippers! Today I had to suit up and trek into the city for a meeting: car, train, walk. My best tip? Always wear all black in the dirty ol' city! Sitting on gooey train seats, eating drippy fast food, pigeons flying overhead, etc.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15 "Tax Day"

Yes, tis "Tax Day" once again. Get thyself to the Post Office before midnight! I took my envelopes down to the local P.O. and stood in line; and when I got to the window did my usual: "Would you please hand cancel these in front of me so I can sleep well tonight." He chuckled, got his stamp out of the drawer, and did so. (He probably remembers me from previous years.)
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Cleaning Time is Here!

Spring is here! And, as part of my professional spring cleaning, it was time to spring clean my resume. This is not a 1-hour job! This is an all-day project. Be sure to allow time for it each spring. Think of it as spiffing up your image! The freelance industry is changing so fast--and last year's resume just isn't gonna cut it. So, grab a cup of coffee (or 3!) and just sit down and do it! Tailor it for clients and attitudes in 2013. And watch the money come pouring in...
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Writing Modern College Textbooks

Current job is creating college-level e-textbooks for science and medical topics. The learning objectives, the actual learning, the quizzes, the assessment (test) questions. These online courses are usually put together as a patchwork using existing materials. So, it involves lotsa research and 'patching'. And I work closely with an Instructional Designer (ID) to make sure we adhere to all adult learning principles. Sure is different from my college textbooks!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Giving Back

On Saturday, March 16, Cheryl taught the "No Portfolio? No Problem!" roundtable seminar at the AMWA Delaware Valley "11th Annual Freelance Workshop." Cheryl showed how to create a medical writing portfolio -- how to create writing samples and create a green e-portfolio.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pay Your Pal with PayPal

No client has ever sent me cash for payment! Clients have always sent me a paper check. But -- now I am getting more and more requests to pay me via PayPal. I had a PayPal account for my eBay-ing, so this wasn't a big deal. Also luckily I was already into online banking with my bank. And I already had the two linked together. So, for me, it is simply a matter of going to PayPal and electronically transferring my money into my checking account. Easy!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Surprise! Track Changes!

I thought everyone knew about MS WORD "track changes." But -- they don't! One client called me in a panic demanding to know why I had inserted all that red ink into the document. Another client called and praised me for such a brilliant idea to type my changes in red ink. Go figure! To both I had to explain that Bill Gates did it, not me. But, then trying to convince them that they were actually in control of what they saw on their own screen -- well that took forever!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

No Portfolio? No Problem!

I attended the AMWA-NE winter meeting today, and led my 2-hr roundtable called: "No Portfolio? No Problem!" (TM). Basically I tell how I got started freelance medical writing coming from a math and engineering background and career. I left engineering and jumped right into (freelance) medical writing. A profession where you need writing samples to get jobs. What a conundrum: you need samples to get a job, but you need a job to get samples.I had a very creative approach to solving this, and told my story. Great group of folks longing to take the plunge and become freelances! I hope I left them with some inspiration!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Ah, The Life of . . .

. . . a freelancer. Working nights and weekends. I'm teaching a "roundtable" session for AMWA-NE (American Medical Writers Association, New England chapter) tomorrow, and here I am late at night getting it ready. I had to work all week; I had to ski all day today; so that means that I am in on a Saturday night preparing. Sigh... But, it is for a good cause! I love that AMWA is completely volunteer -- and a wonderful cooperative (rather than competitive) organization. ________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Prospecting for 'Green'

Prospecting for gold -- which is really green nowadays. Not a day of 'doing' work, but a day of 'looking for' work. Writing to former clients. Checking LinkedIn jobs. Even slumming on Craigs List! I call it 'prospecting' !! And why? Because the jobs I had are all on hold, or moving so slowly that they haven't gotten started yet. You think you have work, but then they "soon" you to death!

Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Need A Medical Writer?

Find one here! The AMWA (American Medical Writers Association) Freelance Directory is now open for searching for free. With a simple registration process, nonmembers can gain instant access to this valuable resource for employers of medical communication professionals. (amwa.org)
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698