Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Do  you send your clients holiday cards (as a marketing tool)? Many freelances do; many don't. Do you send your clients gifts (as a marketing tool)? Many do; many don't. For the first time ever, a client of mine (huge company) sent me a small coffee thermos with their logo on it. That was a new one on me! (As I worked 40 hr/wk for them in 2014, maybe I fell into the "employee" bucket!)
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Signing the Trust Contract

Received from a client today: "Not to worry. I learned there was turnover in the contract group and they won't have your contract amendment until after the first of the year. I was assured that all could continue working in good faith! (ie, you won’t be locked out of our systems and you WILL be paid!. Merry Christmas!" ________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Monday, December 22, 2014

Beware Using Spellcheck Alone!

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased to no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice 2014

December 21, the Winter Solstice -- the shortest day of the year, and the longest night. It's the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Northern Hemisphere is pointed at its furthest distance from the sun. The good news? The days will now get longer until the calendar hits Summer Solstice, June 21, 2015. And what am I doing? Like any good freelancer, when it is cold and dark outside, I am grinding out articles! One every two hours today. ________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Homonym? Homophone?

Homonyms! Homophones! Some word pairs are both!
Chord/cord/ breech/breach, callus/callous, principal/principle.

Some are just confusing: regime/regimen, specious/spacious.

Your dictionary is your best friend!
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Friday, December 19, 2014

Don't Be in This Much of a Hurry!

Read this guy's 11/11/14 blog post here. Oh my! Don't make this embarrassing mistake in your writing! This was actually published! Proofread, proofread, proofread!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Every Interaction Matters -- Every!

“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.”
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Email Laziness Getting to You?

Seen in an e-newsletter I subscribe to: "I have an immediate need for someone to attend a seminar..... Please email me if you can (but don't email me if you can't or if you have questions that you could answer by looking things up)." Yahoo for saying this straight out! People's laziness fills my inbox. And I try not to be guilty of this laziness myself. How about you?
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Friday, December 12, 2014

Is Email Eating You Alive?

An article in the WSJ by Sue Shellenbarger  detailed the outrageous amount of time people waste on email. In fact, some times there was hardly any time left to "do" work! We can all waste a tremendous amount of our time--and other people's time--on email.  Do you waste your time? Do you waste other's time? Take an end-of-year assessment!
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Is Your Boss a Help? or Not?

"Much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work."
         – The Economist
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Time to Update LinkedIn?

Your once good LinkedIn profile could probably use some end-of-year updating! And maybe even a makeover! Donna Serdula is an expert in search engine optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, and making LinkedIn profiles grab your attention. Donna's website  has free LinkedIn resources. She's also written a book:  LinkedIn Makeover: Professional Secrets to a POWERFUL LinkedIn Profile.  Donna also blogs about LinkedIn.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Changes Changes Changes!

January 2015 brings changes to my business -- whether I want them , or not... My 40 hr/wk contract job at the Big Pharma drops to 20 hr/wk and moves to another department (diff disease, diff drug). My blogging job loses the middleman company, and now I'll work directly for the sponsoring company. If you wanna be a freelance, you must be nimble and quick -- as things change out from under you without any warning!
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Monday, December 8, 2014

Interesting Freelancing Statistics

WIKIPEDIA: "According to the 2012 Freelance Industry Report compiled primarily about North America freelancing, nearly half of freelancers do writing work, with 18% of freelancers listing writing as a primary skill, 10% editing/copy-editing, and 10% as copy-writing. 20% of freelancers listed their primary skills as design. Next on the list was translating (8%), web development (5.5%), and marketing (4%)."  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freelancer
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Sunday, December 7, 2014

How to Become . . .

WIKIHOW: "A freelance writer is someone who writes without belonging to any single company or entity but acts like a small business or an independent contractor." So, WIKIHOW -- the site that teaches us "how to do anything" -- is now teaching us how to be a freelance writer. I got a chuckle out of this! Like all their instructions, they actually have 12 steps to get there! http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Freelance-Writer
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Our Professional Organizations

Several professional organizations represent medical writers around the world. These include:
  • American Medical Writers Association (AMWA)
  • Australasian Medical Writers Association (AMWA)
  • European Medical Writers Association (EMWA)
  • Indian Medical Writers Association (IMWA)
  • Russian Medical Writers Association (RMWA)
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Friday, December 5, 2014

Definition: Medical Writing

WIKIPEDIA has a decent definition! "Medical Writing is the activity of producing scientific documentation by a specialized writer. The medical writer typically is not one of the scientists or doctors who performed the research but the scientific information in these documents needs to be presented to suit the level of understanding of the target audience, namely, patients or general public, physicians or the regulators. A medical writer, working with doctors, scientists, and other subject matter experts, creates documents that effectively and clearly describe research results, product use, and other medical information. The medical writer also ensures that their documents comply with regulatory, journal, or other guidelines in terms of content, format, and structure."
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Thursday, December 4, 2014

You Find the Strangest Things...

Tidbit found in PubMed (of all places). "How to Become a Competent Medical Writer."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3149406/
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Are You Using Social Media...

Are you using social media to promote yourself? You should be!
 
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ah Webinars!

Sitting here logged in & waiting for a webinar to start. Client is local, but... Don't have to get dressed up & can wear my freelance bunny slippers! Got another webinar Monday morning. Great for teaching/training lotsa writers at once.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Monday, December 1, 2014

Look What I Found!

Searching for something else, I found one of my blog articles repurposed (with permission from my original client). Found totally by accident!
http://highergearchicago.com/news-tips/save-your-joints-with-low-impact-exercises/
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Friday, November 21, 2014

Freelances Need to Be "Found"

Freelances need to be *found* !! Here's another place to be:  HMW Database.
Medical writers and editors can reach the thousands of HittList viewers each week. Sign up now for a 2-week free trial (it's $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year; you can unsubscribe at any time).
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Great New Freelance Resource!

My freelance friend and colleague, Lori De Milto, just published her first book, The Mighty Marketer: Your Guide to Making More Money as a Freelance Medical Writer. To quote a review: "It's a clear, concise, easy-to-read marketing guide that offers proven marketing techniques and tools--many low or no cost--that let you start marketing your freelance business in days. She includes practical insights and best practices, examples and tips, and resources for learning more from her nearly 2 decades of freelancing." Check out The Mighty Marketer website for free resources and an ezine.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Monday, November 10, 2014

Why am I Successful?


 
Why am I a successful medical writer? Because I "Write Right." I am clear, complete, consistent, concise -- all the things that medical writing demands.

________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sometimes Clients Don't Pay :-(

"The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps." -- Robert Benchley
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

When Freelancing Gets Tough...

“Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.” – Josh Billings
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Sunday, November 2, 2014

More Free Time Just Appeared!

In addition to my full-time medical writing job, I have been the Chairman of the Board for a 3000-member outdoors volunteer organization. And now my 2-year term has ended as the new Chair was voted in. This had taken about 20 hrs/wk -- so, as you can imagine, on top of my paying-work, I had a significant volunteer commitment! Whew! It was great experience. But, maybe now I'll have time to clean the house and rake the leaves.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thinking of Freelance Writing? #3

Make your own decision:

“Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until your forehead bleeds.” – Douglas Adams
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Monday, October 27, 2014

Thinking of Freelance Writing? #2

Make your own decision:

“Write without pay until someone offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this as a sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.” ― Mark Twain
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thinking of Freelance Writing? #1

Should you? This about says it all (found on the internet) -- make your own decision!

Good Freelance Writing: Cats are beautiful creatures that have a wide array of talents that work well for survival, communication, and adaption.

Bad Freelance Writing: Cats are good animals because they can do a lot of really cool stuff.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Effect vs. Affect

Effect vs. affect. Think they're the same? They aren't! Ever mix them up? Know the difference?  Here's a great cartoon that might help you remember from our little friend Mr. Aardvark.  http://thefreelancewriterguide.wordpress.com/tag/cartoons-about-grammar/
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Monday, October 20, 2014

Did You "Shake, Rattle, and Write"?

Did you "Shake, Rattle, and Write" at AMWA's 74th Annual Conference in Memphis? The AMWA Annual Conference is the ultimate resource for medical communicators around the world, offering educational and networking opportunities beyond compare in the field. And once again, it did not disappoint with a nice variety of roundtables and sessions. And networking! Us freelancers need to network!
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Interviewing Once Again...

In 2014, I had a full-time 40 hr/wk contract job at a big pharma. But, for 2015 it has been changed to 20 hrs/wk and moved to a new dept. Now, back to beating the bushes to fill up those other 20 hrs. Never never get complacent; because as soon as you do the rug gets yanked out from under you! Always stay a member of AMWA. Always keep your contacts alive. Always keep your interviewing skills in order. Yes, I have to interview (and get!) the 20 hrs at the pharma; and I also have to interview to fill up those now-available 20 hrs.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Shake, Rattle, and Write

AMWA 74th Annual Conference, October 8-11, held in Memphis, TN. Theme: "Shake, Rattle, and Write". Lots of presentations and speeches -- plus a great opportunity to network with other medical writers (both in industry and freelance).
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Send an Online Press Release?

The say press releases can be a valuable addition to your marketing plan and can lead prospective clients to your business. Hmmm... Drive more traffic to your website? Highlight your online portfolio? Improve search engine rankings? I'm thinking on this... What's your experience? I've heard of: PRLog.org, PR.com, PR-Inside.com, OnlinePRNews.com, Pressitt, 24-7 Press Release Newswire, PR Underground, PRWeb, PR Newswire.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Monday, September 8, 2014

Can You Make it Freelancing?

“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.”  – Anonymous
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

What am I doing today? Why, I am laboring on Labor Day! What else! We do get freedom--but we don't get weekends or holidays. So, I usually work weekends and holidays as I am paid hourly.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Friday, August 15, 2014

Time Getting Away from You?

"Either you run the day or the day runs you."   -- Jim Rohn
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is Taking a Vacation Worth It?

Despite the fact that you return to a bazillion emails, a mailbox stuffed full of snail mail, and your phone message box stuffed full -- and that, unlike a factory, no one does your job for you while you're away -- since freelancing is with you 24/7, one does need to get away! Myself, I go tent camping in the wilds of Maine. I want my vacation to be as different from my regular life as possible! So, yes, go away! Go far far away! And leave your smart phone behind! Go "off grid"! Just for a week -- give it a try...
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Medical Writer Toolkit

Here is a great toolkit for new medical writers assembled by AMWA-DVC -- the Delaware Valley Chapter of AMWA. The site starts out with: "Medical writing is a great career! The work is interesting and often lucrative, and the demand for medical writers is high. Few people start out to be medical writers; most of us fall into it..." Great info, tips, tricks, links, and advice.  http://www.amwa-dvc.org/toolkit/
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Monday, June 30, 2014

Great Freelance Conference (2015)

AMWA-DVC Freelance Conference
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Crowne Plaza Valley Forge, King of Prussia, PA
 
Featuring:
* Presentations on key topics in freelancing
* Interactive sessions on challenges and best practices
* Networking luncheon
* Roundtable discussions
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Friday, June 20, 2014

"Pencil Points"

Have you discovered "Pencil Points" yet? I love it! It's a free monthly newsletter written by experienced freelances -- my friends and colleagues Cyndy and Brian. And when you sign up, you'll also receive a link to download their free Freelance Estimating Checklist. A great resource. http://www.theaccidentalmedicalwriter.com/join-our-list/
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I am my own IT

Alas, as I have my own business, I am my own IT department! I do everything I can as I am pretty technical. However, some things are beyond me, and then I go to my local friendly tech shop. Where, when I walk in, the guy says to me: I know this is gonna be hard cuz you have already done all the easy stuff. Right-o!!!! This latest 5 days in the shop was, as the computer guy says: "Sometimes WINDOWS just falls apart." But, he saved my data! Shout out to Joel at MyComputer.com. (I shoulda bought a mac...)
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mixing It Up

Mind your words! Mixing up "your" with "you're" just because they sound similar is like mixing up "catastrophe" with "cat ass trophy". Just picture in your mind that second one! [Seen on the internet.]
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Writing for the Radio!

Easter Sunday WEZE 590AM Boston,10:00PM E.T. "THE MOODS OF SUNDAY NIGHT" featuring my short story "MY GOOD FRIDAY LABYRINTH WALK". (Yes, I write for the radio also!) Happy Easter!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Screen Crazy!

I have my laptop. And my desktop. Both with several interconnected screens. Current client needs me to use their computer, so they sent me a laptop and big screen (I had to go buy another computer desk for it). I hope my other client doesn't also send me a computer! And I have my laser, my color inkjet, and my wireless printers. Yee gads!
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I have a new website!

But, not by choice! I used to host mine on Verizon. Verizon killed it twice, and I recreated it. Then Verizon got out of the personal website business. So, I moved onto Google! So, come visit me at: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Now I have to reprint my biz cards and fix the website reference anywhere and everywhere! UG UG UG
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: sites.google.com/site/cheryl4698

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ever Plagiarise Yourself?

Did you even know self-plagiarism was a word? Plagiarizing yourself has the same consequences as plagiarizing someone else’s work. Medical writers don't own the words they write—they “work for hire.” You can't reuse the words even though you wrote them. The client owns the words!

Want to know more? Download a white paper.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Do You Work...

Do you work *on* or *in* your business? Don't think there is a difference?

Read Michael Gerber's:
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It              

Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. He claims: After you read The E-Myth Revisited, you will be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Punctuation! Punctuation!

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.

"Why?" asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"Well, I'm a panda," he says. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. "Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

Amazon.com: Eats, Shoots and Leaves
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saint Valentine's Day, also known as Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it remains a working day in most of them. Did you know: The celebration of Saint Valentine did not have any romantic connotations until Chaucer's poetry about "Valentines" in the 14th century. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

You Can't Un-ring the Bell

Everything that you say online becomes part of your digital footprint. Forever! As they say: you can't un-ring the bell. When you write *anything* consider how it might affect your professional image--in the future. Yes, we're talking not only LinkedIn, but also Facebook and Twitter. Human-resource professionals learn a lot about people from their online personas--your personal brand. Does yours say what you want it to say about you as a writer? Or does it show you to be party hearty? Think about it.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Science is as Good as it Gets

"When I was a kid, everyone wanted to be a rock and roll star. But if you really want to do something creative, fun, and stimulating, then science is as good as it gets.--Research neurologist Richard Ransohoff"
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

For Your Bookshelf

Health Care Research Done Right: A Journal Editor Shares Practical Tips and Techniques for High Quality and Efficiency.  --by Kathleen Fairman

Fairman is a journal editor and principal investigator who has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles.
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Uh..and One More Thing

Dreaded words! Is it little--like making a minor edit? Or is it big--like writing a whole new document? If you can take it in stride, you might endear yourself to your client. And get a lot of follow-on work as you are "easy to work with." The other option is to try to charge them for it, as it wasn't in the original contract. You might get paid, but may not get any follow-on work. Not an easy decision! I'd like to hear what you've chosen to do.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Late Paying Clients

What do you do about late paying clients? Put up with it? Ditch them? Hound them with late fees? From my experience, I usually end up working for some sort of middle-man (usually a MedComm), and rarely directly for the pharma. I usually find out that when my client is late, it is because they are chasing their client, the pharma -- who is getting notoriously bad about paying on time. I can't get paid til my client gets paid by their client. Rather than letting it aggravate me, I keep more of a slush fund around in my checking and savings account, so I can handle the lateness. No interest on the money, but a whole lot less stressful for me!
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Saturday, February 8, 2014

When is the Translation Coming?

This quote guides me as I write:
Sir F. M. R. Walshe: "I see you have an interesting paper in the latest issue of Brain. When is the English translation coming out? (Remark to a London physician on the publication of a somewhat obscure paper.)

FROM:
Familiar Medical Quotations, edited by Maurice B. Strauss, MD (Little, Brown, 1968).
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Friday, February 7, 2014

Clear as Mud!

Stanley Gilder, in Medical Journal of Australia, 1962. (Ibid., 673): "The cardinal sin in medical writing is not grammatical error but obscurity."

Familiar Medical Quotations, edited by Maurice B. Strauss, MD (Little, Brown, 1968).

Medical writing--clear as mud! Don't write mud!
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

AMWA Offers Superb Education

AMWA--the American Medical Writers Association--my professional organization, offers superb educational opportunities. There are formal classes and informal breakfast roundtables, and everything in between. AMWA chapters also offer classes and workshops. See the full list of AMWA local chapter conferences at www.amwa.org/chpt_conferences2. And sign up today!
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lightning or Lightning Bug?

Mark Twain said: "The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

Hmmmmm.....Do you proofread? Do you get a second set of eyes to read your work? Do you read  backwards? Today's writing often never sees an editor, but goes straight from writer to publication. Make sure you have the lightning bug and not the lightning!
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

No Portfolio? No Problem!

I'm teaching my roundtable "NP?NP!" at the AMWA New England February meeting. See here for more info: http://amwa-ne.org/

"NP?NP!" = No Portfolio? No Problem!
How a beginning freelance can build a writing sample portfolio out of thin air, and use it to get jobs. It's my personal story.
________________________________________________
Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698

Monday, February 3, 2014

...by Zombies

Don't be passive! Use the active voice; your writing will be better. What's the difference? Active: The doctor treated the patient. If you can add the phrase "by zombies" and it still makes sense--then it is passive. Passive: The patient was treated [by zombies]. (Heard in the halls of AMWA.)
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
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Sunday, February 2, 2014

You Cannot Be too Precise ! ! !

Edith Schwager (AMWA member, famous for her "Dear Edie" column in the AMWA Journal):

"In medical writing, there is no danger in being too precise—only in being imprecise."
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Friday, January 31, 2014

Tips for Better Technical Writing

Now that 2014 has arrived, here are a few helpful tips to avoid mistakes that are easy to make in technical writing.

1. Alphabet Soup - beware acronyms!
2. I'm so smart, you can't understand me - use understandable words!
3. Clichés are shameful - don't use them!
4. Word Vomit - get to the point!
5. You are smarter than I think I am - get it right!
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Contact me for medical writing: cheryl4698@verizon.net
Visit my website: mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698