Medical Writing in 2010: Resolutions

I’m sure you’re all sick of reading predictions and resolutions. Well, too bad. You’re going to read one more.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what the next year will bring. It’s my 11th year as an independent (read: freelance) medical writer, a major milestone in my book. I’ve gone from writing $50 newsletter articles to authoring entire books. From shying away from scientific writing like CME and journal articles to getting to the point where they make up the bulk of my business. So what do I plan in the next 365 days?

1. To continue to organize my marketing efforts with the help of my virtual assistant (thanks, Katy!). This includes the database she’s established, this blog, quarterly email newsletters, following up with potential clients on a regular basis and delving deeper into Linked In and the potential it holds for business development.

2. To develop a book proposal on my own for my own book, no coauthors. Idea is there; just need to write the proposal!

3. To market myself as a speaker at professional meetings on writing, freelancing and medical communcations.

4. To expand the part of my business related to meeting coverage. I LOVE covering medical meetings; must be the former reporter in me.

5. To investigate whether I should develop writing classes for corporations. I’m continually dismayed by the poor writing quality I see.

6. To redecorate my office. This might seem like a pretty selfish thing to do and like something that has nothing to do with my business, but given that I spend upwards of 10 hours a day in that room, the environment is critical to my productivity and mental health. I’ve had the same desk, paint color and design for 10 years how. It’s time for an update.

7. To take at least one day off each weekend. I know, I know. Those of you who read my blog about working weekends and those of you who know me personally are rolling on the floor right now laughing, but I’m serious, damn it!

8. To be more vigilant about reading contracts and insuring that there is language in there regarding timely payment. If you’ve read my blogs on this issue, you’ll understand why.

9. To stretch in one new direction. Although I’m passionate about health policy, I haven’t marketed myself as a writer in that arena much. So that’s where I’ll look.

10. To continue to learn. I’ve signed up for the AMWA scientific certificate, in which I’ll take a series of workshops on various medical topics, such as the cardiovascular system and immunology. The first one I completed was on cancer biology–fascinating!

10. To continue to recognize how incredibly lucky I am to be able to own my own business doing something I love that provides such a huge variety of interesting work.

3 Responses to “Medical Writing in 2010: Resolutions”

  1. Sridhar


    A good post on Debra Gordon on Medical Writing. We are VA4World a virtual assistant firm who provide admin support service for SME’s all over the world. We would like to hear your feedback.

    Sridhar – VA4World for viral marketing, SEO and admin support

  2. Heather

    I just repainted the office over New Year's going from chocolate brown to a warm orange. I cannot believe what a difference it has made in just 1 day.

  3. jnrollins

    Hi Debra,

    I also do goal setting at the beginning of each year, for both my medical writing and professional speaking business. We share goals 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, and what should be 11. Especially 11.

    Jane Neff Rollins, MSPH


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