The Devil (and the Diamond) Is In the Details

DiamondsWhen we hire professionals, we expect them to know their job and to do it well. For example, when we hire a contractor to do work in our home, we expect them to bring their own tools and to clean up after themselves. Supplying tools and cleaning up aren’t typically line items in the contract, they’re just expected parts of the job. Contractors are professionals, and as such they should know what is expected and deliver on those expectations consistently with every job. In fact, professionals who deliver on the details without ever being asked are typically the ones who are hired back again and again. The same thing goes for freelance medical writers.

Whether we’re newbies or seasoned pros, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of the details that define us as professionals and make our clients glad to pay our fees and eager to hire us again. Here are just of few of the big details you don’t want to miss: (more…)

Pencil Points Comes Out Tomorrow. Here’s a Sneak Peek

How To Avoid Getting Spanked By the FDA

Pencil Points sampleWe keep running lists of potential Pencil Points topics and pick and choose each month to find the best ones to write about. Let’s just say that sometimes our best-laid plans for an issue get waylaid when topic opportunities fall out of the sky. Such was our experience this month. Keep reading and you’ll find out why. (more…)

Read and Become a Better Writer

In our opinion reading and writing go hand in hand. They are 2 sides of the same coin. We’ll even stick our necks out and state that we believe that to be a good writer, an exceptional writer, one must read–a lot.

We read a lot.We’re not talking about the clinical study reports, journal articles, and other publications we read to do our jobs. We’re talking about reading for pleasure. (more…)

Win By Not Losing

Exactly how did the tortoise beat the hare? It certainly wasn’t by being the fastest. The tortoise beat the hare by not making the mistakes the hare made. The important lesson here is that the tortoise didn’t win, the hare lost. So the tortoise won by NOT losing. We’ve built our success as freelances the same way.

We like to believe we’re good at what we do and how we do it. And we’re smart enough to know there are plenty of other great freelance medical writers out there. But we work hard at not losing. What exactly does that mean? It means that we’re careful and committed to doing everything right–from the services we provide to the way we provide them, and the way we conduct our business.

Not losing means having a clear vision about the type of medical communication services you want to provide, knowing what you bring to the table from your past experiences, and translating that into the kinds of deliverables you know how to–and want to–create. It means avoiding potentially fatal mistakes like exceeding agreed-upon estimates, blowing deadlines, or missing the mark on deliverables. It means making–not losing– money on the projects you take on. (In some cases, that may mean including a kill fee in your estimate.)

When it comes to succeeding in this business, winning is nice, but not losing is nice, too. Don’t you agree?

Take Your Business From Simmer to Sizzle

Hot_Weather[1]Here in the Northeast the thermometer is sizzling above the 90-degree mark, but as we near the end of July we know the lazy days of summer are almost over. From a freelance perspective that means nearly 3 quarters of the year have passed. The end of summer is a good time to take a critical look at your medical writing business to see if you’re on target to meet your year-end financial and professional goals.

If your business isn’t sizzling, ask yourself these questions: (more…)