30 Spooky Freelancing Practices | FreelanceFolder

In Honor of Halloween: 30 Spooky Things Freelancers Should Never Do

30 Spooky Freelancing Practices | FreelanceFolder

Which are you guilty of?

My sins include:

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What Are They Smoking?

jointA member of the American Medical Writers Association freelance listserve recently posted this help-wanted ad from Craig’s list:   

“We’re looking for an experienced analyst/wordsmith to make sense of the health care bill. We will pay a per-project fee for a  qualified writer to put some hard work into summarizing the bill in an 8-10 page white paper. We have a strong preference for individuals with a background in Sociology, Policy Research, Health Care, or  statistical analysis. Above all – however – you should have some  clippings to point us to so we can evaluate your writing chops.

As you can see, this report will include a lot of information, but it’s important that you are succinct and clear in your prose. Think of it as a detailed study done by a respected think tank, but produced for the average consumer.”

The “fee” (and I use the term loosely) for this “detailed study”? $100. Which wouldn’t even cover the cost of toner to print out the full bill for reading!

Hence the title of this blog.

The people behind this posting are not the … Continue Reading

freelance writing

The Care and Feeding of a Freelance Medical Writer

horseMany have asked me: How can I make sure that my freelance medical writer is happy? For, as any freelance medical writer knows, we can be an ornery lot, arguing over the merits of yellow vs green when highlighting PDF references; Endnote vs RefMan; the true meaning of a P value. Yet, like any high-strung, thoroughbred, given the right care and feeding, your medical writer can be your greatest asset.

To that end, here is my advice on the care and feeding of your freelance medical writer.

1. Be specific in your commands. I just met with a new client about writing needs assessments. Rather than verbally explain things to me (and the other freelancers he uses) he handed me a folder. Inside was a sample needs assessment with his comments as to what worked and what didn’t work. He also included a sample letter of agreement and a checklist for identifying potential faculty. It was only my years of training that prevented me from leaping across the table and hugging him.

2. Commit to your training regimen. You know how much … Continue Reading

deadlines freelance medical writing payment

Working on the Weekend

deskHow was your weekend? Get a lot of Christmas shopping done? Clean your house? Spend some quality time with the kids?

I spent my weekend working, trying to get a jump on a book I’m writing for two doctors.

And that’s ok.

In fact, that’s one thing I always tell “newbies” (people who are thinking about or who have just decided to go into freelance medical writing who ask me for my trade secrets). Looking for a 9 to 5 work schedule? Fuggedaboudit!

When you’re a freelancer you are also a business owner. And your business doesn’t stop at 5 p.m., especially in these days of 24/7 access. That means being available to your clients, current and potential, around the clock at least to the point of responding to emails in a timely manner, even emails that come in on a Saturday.

I’ve been freelancing for 10 years now and I can count on two hands the number of full weekends I’ve taken off (defined as not sitting in front of my computer for anything other than e-mail checks). I work during vacations, I … Continue Reading

freelance work/life balance