Freelance Greetings from the London Burbs

A summary of her day, from Corinne Swainger, Medical Writer, Copywriter and Editor

My day began at 7.30 when my 12-year old son stepped out the door to walk to high school and I stepped out for a 30 min walk around the park. As a freelance medical writer and editor, mainly working from home, I don’t miss the Underground commute but I still need the fresh air and exercise first thing in the morning to get me ready for each day’s business challenges.

Three copywriting hats

After checking all emails at my desk, I ‘attend’ a three-way Skype conference with a medical ad agency whose account directors each work from their own homes. We discuss the content flow of two detail aids for a medical device campaign targeted for GPs and pharmacists, plus a patient leaflet. These are 3 of the 9 items I’m producing for them. It’s time to put my different copywriting hats on and figure how what key messages will encapsulate each audience.

Negotiating deadlines

While I’m Skyping, a med-ed agency I work with emails and asks me to incorporate recent client comments on a clinical slide presentation I’ve been writing for an upcoming cardiology conference. They want the the revised draft by Friday morning but I’m already scheduled to complete another editing job tomorrow, so we negotiate the deadline for Friday EOD, which still suits their schedule.

Quiet please

After taking a break for lunch outside, I get down to business and start editing some website copy for a private hospital that offers new specialist services in oncology. To get this done, I need to turn off my emails completely and playing some wordless music over the internet so I can concentrate.

Freelance gossip

Around 3.30pm, another medical writer friend calls me and asks me if I’m interested in a freelance job enquiry she’s received. We have a good chat about maintaining that elusive work-life balance and a moan about late payments. I note down one late-paying client she mentions. Some people assume freelancers work in bubbles but we regularly update each about on-going medcomms freelance challenges.

Beat the iPad

Around 4pm, my son arrives home from school. It’s time for me to take a tea-break and put my deadlines on hold so I can catch up with his day, before he disappears to find the iPad.