It’s become a tradition, as we head towards the end of another #MedComms Day, that Sarah Smith, a freelance medical writer and editor based on her boat in the Caribbean reminds us that you can freelance in #MedComms from anywhere these days… today that’s Calvigny Island in the background. A playground for the rich and famous apparently! Well played, Sarah!
Hello and happy MedComms Day!
I’m posting at the end of my day as it’s been one of false starts. I started the day in the garden making an epic list for myself, and am ending it in the same place now that the sun has moved and I can see my screen again.
Today I’ve been tying up some loose ends in Zinc from yesterday and have been getting to grips with a large offline reference pack. I am not a writer so I am grateful to have support from those with superior writery knowledge when needed, and today is one of those days. When I started as a freelancer I had no other contacts at all (!) and now I have a nice big list of them (partly thanks to Peter!), plus a small team of trusted subcontractors. I feel as if that, paired with the option to work outside, and to be flexible around my daughter’s childcare makes my job nothing short of perfect.
Here’s to many more MedComms Days.
Corinne Swainger is a freelance medical copywriter, and organises regular local meet-ups for other MedComms freelancers and remote workers living in and around North West London. They’re meeting tonight to celebrate MedComms Day, so I’m hoping for more pictures!
Greetings from sunny Middlesex, in the suburbs of Greater London! As an independent medical copywriter, I love the diverse challenges that freelance life gives me, but like any other business, I still need to dedicate some essential time to focus my professional marketing plan. It was half-term last week, so I took some time off to assess my current and future business situation. During the past 12 years since I kicked off my freelance scientific career, pharmaceutical-healthcare communications have changed rapidly, which means I’ve had to adjust too, or risk getting left behind. While I’m looking to stay freelance in the future, I’m keen to find out what new marketing options are out there for small businesses like me. So, I’m talking to various colleagues inside and outside the industry for their thoughts before I take my next steps.
As part of these changes, today, I’m been tweaking the logo for my MediQuill Ltd, and updating my professional LinkedIn profile. I’m also investigating whether I want to specialise on a more niche healthcare market. For example, in recent years, I’ve focused more on devising medical promotions and medical education for primary healthcare professionals and patients, rather writing abstracts and clinical research reviews for secondary care. I’ve also branched out into creating medical education and promotions for medical devices, so today, I’m considering if, and how I could offer more specific services to those types of clients.
Finally, I’m definitely looking forward to catching up with a few other freelancers this evening to celebrate MedComms Day in our own way, at our local freelancers meet-up. Cheers!
Sarah Smith, freelance medical writer, set sail from the UK some years ago and hasn’t looked back. You can work from anywhere in the world with MedComms!
Morning everyone! I’ve just got up here on our boat (our home and my office) in not-so-sunny Grenada. I have a morning working on a writing project and a BBQ on the beach planned for this afternoon. At least if it rains the rain will be warm!
Julia Davies is a freelance editor.
Greetings from sunny Worthing! Today, like most days, is a day of juggling… editing projects from various clients, studying for my coaching diploma, a quick session at the gym, and an all-important break at the beach. I’ve been editing for over 10 years, and I particularly appreciate the flexibility and variety of freelancing; it enables me to do a job I love alongside my studies, as well as mostly (!) managing to achieve that elusive work–life balance. I love hearing from others around the world on MedComms Day and seeing how flexible and full of variety our industry is!
I’m writing this from the sweltering and beautiful co-working space that is Hubud in Ubud, Bali. Today’s activities include eating delicious food, swimming and a quick massage before it’s back to the grindstone (or is it really….?) to work. The most stressful part of my day is making sure that the (extremely bold) monkeys steer clear of my computer, electrical equipment (and, of course, food!) Oh and I mustn’t forget to mention the extreme festivities of Galungan descending upon me, assaulting and delighting all of the senses. Galungan is the extended Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of good over evil. So no biggie then.
Quite a juxtaposition to this time last year, when I was huddled over my laptop in sub zero temperatures of Edinburgh. A completely different beauty surrounded me then, as did a vastly different culture and climate. This is why I love freelancing so much – I never know where I’ll be one year to the next.
The REALLY great news, is that I can provide an overnight service for all my UK clients. It’s win-win for everyone!
Jane Tricker, Freelance writer, is struggling with the wifi on the train, apparently, but has still managed to send this message in. Technology is great, when it works…
I’m writing this from the 7.25 train to Victoria, admiring the glorious Kent countryside as I go. I’m spending the day with DDBRemedy – an advertising agency based in Paddington. I’ve been working with this agency for several months on a range of projects (including a couple of pitches). My current project is to prepare a slide deck that will be used to introduce an existing regional sales team to a new drug in a new therapeutic area. The drug is due to launch in a couple of years’ time, and the deck will be used at a meeting to decide how many staff will be needed to support the launch, when and how they will be transitioned and what additional staff they will need in specific territories. My job has been to distil the information in hundreds of slides in the core deck down to 35 slides for a 50-minute presentation and provide a fresh approach to the storytelling for this meeting – the pharma client wants something that will encourage the delegates to think ‘outside the box’ for their launch preparaton.
Another great view from Kris Rydholm Överby.
This year, MedComms Day falls on our Swedish National Day Holiday! Everyone is enjoying bright sunshine and lovely weather as we proudly display the Swedish flag at home.
Not too much holiday rest for this freelancer, however! I have a number of projects I am working on today:
– Developing an educational slide deck for the innovative Swedish CPS 6000 system, which monitors negative and positive air pressures in isolation rooms and operating theatres
– Editing a review article for a Future Medicine journal
– Translation from Swedish to English of Medicvent product materials for evacuation of nitrous oxide, surgical smoke and anesthesia gases
Greetings from me to everyone on MedComms Day from Sigtuna, Sweden, founded by the Viking Erik the Victorious in the year 980. I will go back to work now so we can light the barbecue and celebrate Swedish National Day later this afternoon!
Mark English, freelance writer, is preparing for some serious traveling over the coming days. Ping him a message if you want to meet up and hear about freelance life in New Zealand – and those views. Oh, those views!
It was a cold start here in Wanaka, New Zealand with overnight snow on the mountains and mountain passes, so the log fire was cranked up well before work began. Like most freelancers in New Zealand, the start of my day consisted of catching up on emails that arrived overnight from various parts of the globe. I then incorporated some minor comments on an oncology e-learning tool and the rest of my day was spent organising an upcoming trip. Living in New Zealand, I don’t get the chance to meet clients very often, but we (myself and my better half) are heading on an overseas trip on Saturday visiting old and new clients in San Francisco, New Jersey, Philadelphia and the U.K. We are also throwing in an advisory board meeting in Barcelona just for the fun of it and then finally we are spending some time with family in the Lake District U.K. (can I order sunshine there please?). I have been a medical writer for 18 years now and I still absolutely love my job and the variety it brings. Anyhow, less of the I love my job warm fuzzies, does anyone want to meet me for a coffee and a natter on my travels? Yes? Fantastic. Here is my email address —-> firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, I will leave you with a much-requested photo. Here is tonight’s sunset over Lake Wanaka. If you look very closely, you might see Mt Aspiring in the far distance, New Zealand’s second highest peak at 3,033 metres!
This just in from Ruth Hadfield, Freelance medical writer & research consultant and membership secretary of the Australasian Medical Writers Association, with an invite to Melbourne in August.
It is winter here so I am sitting in my office with the heating on full, my Ugg boots on and cradling a warm cup of coffee.
My number one task today is to spend some time finding sponsorship for the forthcoming Australasian Medical Writers (AMWA) Conference. This year’s theme is Integrity in a Post-Truth World and the conference is being held in Melbourne, Australia on 23-25 August. The AMWA conference committee have put together a fabulous program and AMWA president Michelle Guillemard has done a truly wonderful job leading this. As a not-for-profit and volunteer run organisation we need sponsorship to make sure this event can be held annually. AMWA would love to see as many MedComms professionals at the conference as possible so please consider this your invitation.
Today is a day of tidying up loose ends after many weeks of back to back jobs. Next up on my task list are preparing some quotes, website updates and responding to emails.
I will enjoy watching the rest of the world wake up and hearing about what you are all are doing this MedComms day!
Lyndal Staples, Freelance writer, writes that she loves seeing what people are up to around the world on #MedComms Day.
It’s a good morning from sunny Napier, New Zealand. (It’s a relief to preface Napier with the word sunny because it’s been cold and miserable here over the past few days. I know it’s the middle of winter, but still…)
My day as a freelance medical writer has started like most others. I’ve hauled the kids out of bed and off to school/kindergarten and am just about to get stuck into today’s work. As per usual, I’m wearing my corporate wardrobe (ie Ugg boots) and have a cup of coffee close by. The cat’s parked up by the fire, likely glaring at me and wondering when I’ll next deign to feed her. (She’s a rescue cat; honestly, you’d think she’d be more grateful.)
I’m currently working on some conference materials for an agency in the United Kingdom. I’ve spent all of this year aligned with the company and it’s been great working with the same team and having surety around the number of hours I’ll be working and the timeframe in which I’ll get paid. Long-term contracts like my current one definitely have their upsides, although there’s always a bit of nervousness about retiring my other clients, even if it’s just for a few months.
I’m looking forward to following the feed for MedComms Day 2018. It’s great to see what everyone is up to in this around-the-world, around-the-clock business of ours. It’s easy to feel a bit out of touch being a freelancer (especially one at the bottom of the world…), but it’s days like these that I definitely feel part of a big global community.
It’s become traditional on #MedComms Day now to have a photo sent in by Sarah Smith, a freelance medical writer and editor based on her boat in the The Caribbean to remind us that you can freelance in MedComms from anywhere these days… today it’s Turtle Bay, Trinidad.
Kathryn Lee is a Freelance Medical Writer based in the UK and has had to adapt to her plans changing for the day, as they often do.
One of the things I love about being freelance is the variety of work! Although I’m often home-based in the UK and writing documents for large Pharma companies, today I’m travelling to Switzerland to deliver protocol writing training for a new client. Of course, such days don’t always run according to plan and my 09.20 flight from Norwich to Basel, via Amsterdam, was cancelled due to strong winds. I’ve been rebooked on the last flight of the day which gives me extra time to catch up on a few administrative tasks, start drafting an article due later this month, and think about new medical writing projects lined up for later in 2017.
Corinne Swainger is a Freelance Medical Copywriter, Medical Writer and Editor based in London.
Greetings from breezy, sunny Pinner, in North-West London, where I’m stopping for lunch during my busy freelance day. As it happens, my teenage son didn’t go into school today since he wasn’t well overnight. But working from home means I can keep an eye on his recovery here, while still progressing with my work. Today, at MediQuill Ltd, I’m juggling some interesting assignments. These include developing a new strategic story flow for a renal product advertising campaign, and mapping out associated content for an interactive visual aid to differentiate this drug over the competition. So it’s time to integrate some emotional messages into the campaign!
Before getting into MedComms, I started my career as a staff healthcare copywriter in a Florida hospital working with doctors, nurses and patients to promote the hospital’s clinical services. As such, I was taught that the best advertising and PR campaign messages appeal to a person’s emotions. And I think that’s still true, especially in MedComms. Sometimes, we forget that healthcare professionals are people too, and they will respond to moving messages rather than just clinical logic when making treatment decisions.
Today, I’m also ghost-writing a proposal to present the benefits of my client’s European pharmaceutical wholesaler services to a global pharmaceutical company. I’m also discussing a potential new project with a freelance medical editor whose client is looking for a PR healthcare writer. Plus, I’m getting a breath of fresh air in the local Pinner park to enjoy that lovely sunshine. Freelancing can sometimes be isolating, which is why I try to get out of the house every day to just connect with people. After 20 years, I still love working in MedComms – and this has increased over the past 10 years since I began freelancing and founded MediQuill Ltd. There is always so much diversity in this industry, as shown by the postings from around the world on #MedComms Day. I look forward to reading more of them.
Mark English, Freelance Medical Communications Specialist at Bellbird Medical Communications ends his #MedComms day looking out on another great view in New Zealand.
It was an early start for me today at Bellbird Medical Communications, as I had client comments on an acute myeloid leukaemia e-learning script for my regular UK client that needed to be turned around fairly quickly. I say ‘client’ but our relationship is much more than that. After working with this client for more than three years, I feel as if I am an integral part of the team. The job was fairly straight forward and given this is an e-learning script it allowed me to be creative and suggest a few funky interactive elements. Being a trained scientist used to rigid protocols, boring graphs and tables, I love it when I have the opportunity to add creative flair to a project. Other members of the Bellbird team have been involved in rapid turnaround projects for ASCO. Now that work is over, the brief reprieve has provided the opportunity for them to catch up on some administrative tasks.
I guess like a lot of people, #MedComms Day provides the opportunity to reflect on where you have come from and where you are going. I started out as a rookie medical writer in 2001 in the North West of England and now I find myself 16 years later in Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand! I also have a small and growing company with my wife and business partner, and the opportunity to work with some very experienced medical writers who share our enthusiasm for oncology. There have been lots of challenges along the way – with Brexit and the slump in the pound being a particularly memorable part of this year – but I truly love my job. If you are reading this and are thinking about moving into #MedComms, just do it! You will love it, and you never know where it may take you… perhaps, even, to the ends of the world?
Here is my token New Zealand glamour shot taken an hour ago as I sat by Lake Hawea reflecting on my day. If you are ever passing by, please do get in touch (email@example.com). I am always keen to have a natter and a flat white…
This just in from Ruth Hadfield, Freelance medical writer & research consultant and membership secretary of the Australasian Medical Writers Association, with an invite to Sydney in August.
It’s a wet and windy start today and I feel like I have done a day’s work already. Getting teenagers out of bed and off to school is no mean feat especially when water polo training starts at 6am.
I am now settling down to attack my long to do list in my home office. I have to admit on a wet winter’s day it feels like a real treat to be able to work from home. First up today is getting the mailing list ready for the Australasian Medical Writers Association conference brochure to be sent out (in my volunteer capacity as membership secretary).
#MedComms Day is a great opportunity to invite you all to Sydney for the AMWA 2017 conference which will be held on August 24-26. The theme is ‘Communicating for Change’ and the range of workshops and speakers is fabulous, not to mention the irresistible Manly Beach venue.
Also my to do list is preparing a quote for a local research centre who want help with their annual research report and writing the first draft of a new haematology guideline following a meeting with the authors on Monday. The last thing on my to do list is the word TAX in capitals – the end of the tax year is 30 June here in Australia and I need to get my spreadsheets in order for the accountant – perhaps I’ll put that one off until tomorrow…
Manly Beach – AMWA 2017 Conference Venue
Greetings from a very vivid Sydney – the annual vivid festival is on at the moment
Lyndal Staples, Freelance Medical Writer, is settling down to her #MedComms working day in the home office.
It’s a good morning from me in Napier, New Zealand. I’ve just got home from the (highly stressful) school/day care run. Nothing like a 3-year-old on a scooter to test your mettle first thing in the morning!
I’ve got my coffee and am about to attack my to-do list. As a freelance medical writer, I’ve been fortunate to have back-to-back long-term contracts for the best part of this year. Things have been busy and the work has been varied: manuscripts, abstracts, slide decks, clinical trial summaries, desk research, literature reviews, etc., etc. So, no complaints from me.
I’m still ticking along in my home office (slash laundry). Although I’ve given quite a bit of thought to hiring shared office space, I’d probably only do that if I went full time. I’d love the company of other people during the day but it’s hard to justify the expense when working from home costs more or less nothing. Plus, I’ll get my fix later this year when I attend the annual Australasian Medical Writers Association conference in Sydney, Australia. I attended my first conference last year and it was great to meet other people who do what I do (and who get what I do). Oh, and a trip to ‘Straya’ just seemed too hard to turn down!
I’ve posted enough photos of my office over the years so this time I thought I’d showcase the beautiful city that I live in. Famous for its rugged coastline, Art Deco architecture and Pania of the Reef. Oh, and wine. I shouldn’t forget the wine…
Looking forward to seeing what everyone else in #MedComms is up to as people log on for the day. It’s great to have initiatives like this one to remind me that I’m part of a global community, despite living at the bottom of the world!
Oh well, no great sunsets tonight but Sarah Smith, Freelance writer, is drinking her sundowners anyway and wishes everyone in MedComms a good night!