Answers to Common Questions About My Health Writing Services
Creating Quality Content
How do you ensure the medical accuracy of what you write?
When gathering information, I rely on authoritative sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, health department statistics, and expert interviews. Depending on your preference, I can document the sources with links, annotations, or footnotes. Once I have a draft of the piece completed, I double- and triple-check every fact. The organizations with which I work generally have their own review process as well. This may include content review by professional editors and fact-checkers as well as medical review by subject matter experts.
What are your personal areas of subject matter expertise?
I have a master's degree in health psychology and nearly 40 years of experience writing about health and wellness. Mindfulness in daily life is a particular passion, and I have a strong background in developing mindfulness-based scripts, activities, resources, and how-to articles. I'm also knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the mental and physical health benefits of walking and connecting with nature. Plus, I literally eat, sleep, and breathe the health and lifestyle concerns of active older adults.
Can you write factual, up-to-date articles about Covid-19?
Yes! I'm a stickler for responsible, evidence-based health writing. Beyond that, my background in psychology helps me address your audience's emotional concerns during this challenging time. More than half of my assignments over the last several months have asked me to “write an article about Covid-19 as it relates to ___.” Editors have filled in the blank with a wide array of topics, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Elective surgery
- Flu shots
- Heart procedures
- High-risk individuals
- Mask wearing
- Medical office reopening
- Patient screening
- Pregnancy and delivery
- Safety precautions
- Social distancing
- Social support
- Virtual doctor visits
- Well-child visits
Partnering with Experts
Can you write an article or book with an expert at my organization?
I often work with medical or mental health experts as a ghostwriter or coauthor. The process generally begins with a phone call or video chat, in which the expert shares key information and insights about the subject at hand. From that starting point, I create an initial draft of the piece. The expert then reviews this draft and notes any corrections or changes, which I incorporate into a revised version. Frequently, only one pass is needed, but I'm happy to go back and forth until the expert is satisfied with the final draft. I'm always respectful of your expert's time, so I strive to keep the process short and sweet.
Can you write an article for an audience of health professionals?
Although most of my writing is consumer-facing, I also create content that speaks the language of health care providers. For example, I have written for provider-to-provider publications devoted to cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, robotic surgery, and nursing. Often, I work with specialists to create ghostwritten articles that position them as thought leaders, highlight ongoing research, or inform referring physicians about the latest technologies and treatments.
I'm a health professional. Why would I work with a health writer?
There are several possible reasons, but the most common one is time. You may be highly intelligent, educated, experienced, and repected in your field. You might even have a world-class reputation and be widely published in prestigious medical journals. But chances are, you don't have a lot of spare time on your hands. Plus, you probably aren't accustomed to making sure that your writing meets content strategy specs—such as SEO, word count, and reading level—and that takes time to master. Working with a good health writer is often the most efficient, cost-effective way to get your message out to your audience.
Fees & Deadlines
How much do you charge for your writing services?
My writing fees vary depending on what a project entails, how long it will take to complete, and how quickly the deadline is approaching. Depending on the circumstances, I may be paid a per-word rate, an hourly rate, or a flat rate for the project. For more information, please contact me directly with a brief description of your project.
Can I count on you to meet the deadline for a writing assignment?
I’m a dedicated, deadline-driven writer with an exemplary track record for turning in work on time. I will give you an honest assessment of the necessary turnaround time when we first discuss an assignment. Then I will do everything in my power to make sure I meet our agreed-upon due date. If something beyond my control comes up—for example, if a source postpones a critical interview—I’ll let you know immediately so we can discuss how you want to proceed.
I have a rush writing job with a super-tight deadline. Can you help?
Often, yes. Freelance writing is my full-time job, not a side gig, so I have ample availability. If you want to discuss a rush project, the fastest way to reach me is generally via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll let you know right away whether I can help. I don’t always have enough flexibility in my schedule to take on a rush job—but frequently I do.
Writing & Interviewing
Are you familiar with best practices for SEO writing?
Absolutely. My primary goals for any piece of health writing are to intrigue, inform, and engage readers. That said, your readers have to find what I've written first. I know how important it is for your online content to be search engine optimized. I'm adept at weaving relevant, high-impact keywords into crucial places in the text. And I do so in an unobtrusive way that doesn't disrupt the natural flow of language.
Do you apply the principles of plain language to your writing?
Always. Plain language is the best way to communicate a clear, compelling message. That’s important in all writing. But it’s essential in writing about health issues, where lack of clarity could have serious consequences. I tailor my writing approach to your editorial style as well as the background and reading level of your target audience. In general, I am a fan of first- and second-person pronouns, active voice, familiar words, short paragraphs, and the liberal use of subheads.
Can you interview a health care provider or patient for a story?
I’ve conducted thousands of interviews over the course of my career. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job. I genuinely enjoy listening to people tell me about themselves and their professional passions or personal experiences—and I think that sincere interest makes for a compelling interview. I’m comfortable talking with clinicians, researchers, patients, and community members. I’m experienced at conducting interviews by phone, via video chat, or in person. And I'm cognizant of the need for sensitivity when discussing anyone's personal health journey.
Do you follow AP, Chicago, APA, or AMA style in your writing?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. It all depends on your requirements. Associated Press (AP) style is the go-to style for journalism and journalistic custom writing. It's what most of my clients request, often with modifications based on in-house style guidelines. Consequently, I stay abreast of the latest changes to the AP Stylebook and have been known to geek out over seemingly minor updates (% for percent, yes!). I am also proficient in Chicago style. When formal bibliographic citations are required, I often follow American Psychological Association (APA) or American Medical Association (AMA) style.