Geri Hosking, Freelance writer, loving what she does.
It’s 9:15am, and I’m sitting at my home office in Auckland, New Zealand, waiting for a huge oncology spreadsheet to download. While I wait, I thought I’d jump on the MedComms Day bandwagon!
I love being a freelance medical writer. I have freelanced part time for 4 1/2 years; full time for 2 years. Already this morning I have baked fresh bread, made sumptuous lunchboxes (after negotiating a peaceful compromise between the healthy and unhealthy), dropped the kids to school, run some errands, sorted out tonight’s dinner, and done some housework. I sat down to my computer half an hour later than planned, so had to miss my run along Long Bay this morning. But this is the beauty of freelancing as a mother – it fits perfectly around the thing that is the very essence of my existence – my family – and allows me to balance mindless routine with intelligent thinking and creativity.
I love the structure of a deadline, the creativity of elegant wordsmithing, the variety of working in a familiar therapeutic area (particularly oncology) one day, and grappling with a new topic the next. I thrive on the satisfaction of a project finished well, and the personal communication with my lovely clients, both here in New Zealand and overseas.
My work is really varied and interesting. I have several different types of clients, so my workload is a nice balance between academic writing for publications, writing conference symposia materials/post-meeting summaries and the like, and putting together various types of marketing materials – which fits in beautifully with my background as a drug rep in a past life. For my overseas clients, the time zone differences work well – I work while they sleep sweetly and wake to find the job done.
Yes, it can be isolating, and I often go all day without speaking to anyone; although, I am not strongly extroverted so the lifestyle sits well with me. I break it up with teleconferences and the odd hot chocolate with a colleague – and I’ll sometimes accompany my husband on business trips and work from wherever we happen to be.
And yes, sometimes (or often) there is an unavoidable clash of deadlines from different clients, all of which simply must be met; sleep can become rather low on the priority list for a little while. But there is always a way to manage it.
Back to my spreadsheet and other work, then watching after-school sports, feeding, homework and bedtime, and then I’ll be back at my work late into the evening. I truly love this lifestyle.