Stopping for a virtual lunchtime chat

This just in from freelancer, Fiona Weston

“In celebration of #MedComms Day, some of the Yorkshire MedComms group had a virtual lunchtime catch-up. We are all very much hoping it will not be long now until we can meet again in person. Note I am still wearing the MedComms hat!”

Also present were freelancers; Vicki Evans, Howard Donohue, Lisa O’Rourke and Jenny Smith

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Wrapping up in New Zealand

Freelance medical writer Sheridan Henness together with Toby were online with us earlier at our meeting of the New Zealand Medical Writers, and has just wrapped up her working day.

MedComms Day 2020 is coming to a close in New Zealand. It’s hard to believe we’re at MedComms Day already, with all that’s been going on this year, but here we are. New Zealand is lucky enough to be free of all lockdown restrictions except for closed borders now, so our lives can return to some normality. Of course, in MedComms every day is different, so even in lockdown there’s some variety. Today I’ve been working on checking some data, writing a review and taking in some client comments across a broad range of therapy areas – cluster headache, influenza, and rare genetic diseases – so lots of variety. Of course now that we’re completely free to go outside and do whatever we want, some fresh air is a requirement as well, so my Chief Furry Officer Toby and I made it out for a run around the dog park, which has a great view of Auckland’s city centre and the Sky Tower. Now my CFO and I are just settling in for the night, but I hope everyone who’s just starting their MedComms Day has a good one!

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Online with the New Zealand Medical Writers (and guests)

It was great fun chatting today with participants from New Zealand, Australia and the UK. Lots of talk about working through lockdowns, changing working patterns and practices and the challenges that might be faced by event organisers in the future. It was useful to have a good mix of freelancers and agency staff.

Thanks to Sally Bathgate, Manuela Callari, Marie Cheeseman, Richard Claes, Heather Graz, Sheridan Henness, Blair Hesp, Steven Inglis, Harriet Lamb, Daniel McGowan, Lakshini Mendis, Michael Molloy-Bland, Nicola Ryan, Yasmene Shah, Lyndal Staples and Michele Wilson for joining in.

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The freelance cobbler’s children don’t go barefoot

swainger_01This just in from Corinne Swainger, Freelance Medical Writer based in London

It’s been a somewhat soggy but busy MedComms Day here in London. Over the past few days, I’ve received some enquiries from potential new clients in Poland, Germany and the UK about crafting content for various projects. So this morning I spent time reviewing those enquires to decide whether I could accommodate their specific needs.

These projects included the writing of press releases based on recent neurology conference abstracts, drafting new e-learning modules for pharmacists, crafting a promotional advertorial, and ghost-writing a series of nursing articles for a registered nurse. I referred one enquiry onto another medical writer I know from the MedComms Workbook, who would be more suitable than me for that project.

The cobbler’s children have no shoes. And my freelance medical copywriter’s website doesn’t really present my current services. Like the cobbler, (and many other medcomms freelancers), I’m too busy focusing on my client’s needs. So I haven’t found the time to fix my own web content yet. But I’m delighted that I managed to squeeze in some time to brief my web designer about updating my website at lunch time.

Since I mainly work from home, this often allows me to be in the right place at the right time for my family. So I was able to greet my son today when he arrived home after sitting his first A-level. (Don’t worry, even though I’m a busy cobbler, he doesn’t go barefoot.) For him, taking that A-level has required many weeks of intensive studying. It makes me appreciate that medcomms freelance writing isn’t always that extreme and can involve a lot of fun. Now where did that anvil go?

MedComms freelancers do lunch

It’s great to see these informal gatherings of freelancers occurring. It’s good to network. This message was sent in by Fiona Weston, freelance copy-editor.

MedComms Day was very thoroughly celebrated in Yorkshire by the northern subgroup of the MedComms Workbook. Five of us – (clockwise from left), Jenny Smith, Sarah Whitfield, Vicki Evans, Fiona Weston and Howard Donohue – raised a glass and said “Cheers!” to Medcomms, freelancing, and Peter at a long and chatty lunch in Leeds today. Apologies came from Lisa O’Rourke, Felicity Leigh, Andy Lockley and Selena Class, who were all too busy actually MedComming to make it! Here’s to another great year of MedComms and thanks Peter for all you do for our community. Now it’s back to work to catch up the time lost!

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A boating life

Sadly, Sarah Smith, freelance medical writer, won’t be sending us her usual sunset photo to close our #MedComms Day, from the Caribbean this year. Welcome back to the UK, Sarah!

This time last year I was living on and working from a yacht in the Caribbean (Grenada, West Indies). This MedComms Day I woke up to a grey and drizzly morning in Pembrokeshire (UK). While the view from my desk still features boats, life is very different (and includes a flushing toilet, shower and washing machine for starters). Coming back to live and work in the UK has given me a fresh appreciation of many things (apart from the loo…) — the wild and wonderful Pembrokeshire beaches, supermarkets stocked with a huge range of foods at reasonable prices, access to art classes, fast and easy Amazon deliveries, the NHS, ‘proper’ pubs, and summer evenings that stay light after 6 pm – things that many people take for granted but I haven’t had for 12 years. So, while the sunshine here is liquid and a little chilly compared with the Caribbean, I am a happy bunny here for now (‘till we get the urge to sail away again)…

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More cakes, please

Juliet Fawcett, Freelance Medical Writer, is baking while she’s working. Cake making is important in MedComms…

One of the joys of being a freelancer is the opportunity to do tasks at home whilst working. So, today I’ll be finishing off my report on hypoglycemia treatment whilst making cupcakes for my son’s birthday tomorrow!! (which coincidentally is also the Alzheimer’s Society fundraising cupcake day)

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Hello from Sweden

overby_01This just in from Kris Rydholm Överby, freelance Consultant and Medical Writer

Today I am working from my office in Sigtuna, Sweden, and here is a picture of our 1,000 year old High Street founded by the Vikings.

My assignments today include literature searches and writing a case report for a MedTech company in Uppsala and preparing for a series of webinars this autumn for a pharma company in Stockholm.

The diversity of working freelance in medical communication!

Closing down in New Zealand

And an end-of-the-working-day message from Sheridan Henness, Freelance medical writer. And another example of how the #MedCommsPets can help us through the day.

MedComms Day is drawing to a close here in New Zealand, but it’s been a good one. My day started with packing off my CFO (Chief Furry Officer) Toby to doggie daycare, and then getting stuck into some work before the New Zealand Medical Writers Zoom call, specially organized for today by Peter. The call was great; I think working as a freelancer in New Zealand comes with some unique challenges, so it was good to talk about those things and put some faces to names. After that it was back into work. Today I was working on some manuscripts on ulcerative colitis and migraine, but tomorrow I’ll move on to some oncology work. Diversity in therapeutic areas is the name of the game around here, and that’s one of the many things I love about this job. But right now me and the CFO are settling in for some relaxation time before it all starts again tomorrow. I hope everyone who is just starting their MedComms Day has a great one!

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Dreaming about Rarotonga

ryan_01Followng our Zoom meeting of the New Zealand medical writers, independent Medical Communications Specialist Nicola Ryan turns back to her work….

The photo is of my little corner of the world at home. Of course I’d rather be in Rarotonga (as pictured on the computer desktop), but happy not to have to go outside to commute on colder winter days!

#MedComms day for me started, as always, with checking e-mail. With nearly all my clients coming from the other side of the world, the first venture into e-mail each morning can be either a relief (no unexpected/urgent work) or a bit stressful (too many new projects, not enough time?!). I’m juggling the final stages of a few projects (journal page proofs, submissions, final author comments) with three manuscripts (two ORAs, one large review) that need to be completed by the end of the month – all fitted around the other smaller bits and pieces that come up on a day-to-day basis. Most of my work is direct with KOLs, or sometimes pharma or device companies, so I don’t always know how each day will pan out, but that’s what keeps things interesting – right? The zoom meeting with other NZ medical writers was a welcome interlude in my day. Great to see some new faces and some old ones too. It helps to feel less isolated. Very grateful to Peter Llewellyn for staying up well after the witching hour to make it all happen. Have a great day everyone.

Chatting with the New Zealand writers

Well, that was fun. Using zoom meant a group of us from aross New Zealand and elswhere could chat informally together about working life for medical writers. We covered off developing business, keeping clients and when necessary knowing when to turn away projects.

Thanks to Matt Boyd and Marie Cheeseman and Mark English and Adi Ferrara and Sheridan Henness and Blair Hesp and Harriet Lamb and Kathryn Lee and Daniel McGowan and Tricia Newell and Nicola Ryan and Lyndal Staples for joining in.

And it looks like we’ve agreed we’ll do it again, sometime soon. I look forward to it.

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Good morning from sunny Napier, New Zealand

staples_01Lyndal Staples, Freelance Medical Writer, has sent the kids off to school and is now getting down to work…

Like all my previous posts to the #MedComms Day page, I’ll start my contribution with a good morning from sunny Napier, New Zealand. It’s shaping up to be another gorgeous, albeit chilly, day here.

My day as a freelance medical writer has started like most others. The kids are up, dressed and off to school and I’m just about to get stuck into today’s work. I’m currently working on some materials for an agency in the United Kingdom. I started my most recent contract with them last month, and it’s great to be back on board working with some familiar faces.

Later this morning I’ll be joining the Zoom video meeting of New Zealand medical writers organised by Peter. It will be great to catch up with those folks that I know, as well as a few new ones.

I’ll be following this year’s MedComms Day feed with interest. It’s easy to feel a little out of touch being a freelancer (especially one who lives at the bottom of the world…), but days like these remind me that I’m part of a big global community.

 

Ending a long day in London

We last heard from Jane Tricker, Freelance writer, this morning whilst she was struggling for a wifi connection on the train to London. She’s just arrived back home.

tricker_01It turned out to be a very long day in London – I got back about half an hour ago. The slide deck was well received: the pharma client has already sent his comments back and I’ll be working on them tomorrow. This afternoon, I’ve been putting together a rather unusual style of presentation for a global brand team meeting – first draft to be with the client first thing tomorrow (hence the long hours). Time for a glass of wine, I think.