Writing an article they say is only for a person who is imaginative, creative, a person full of experiences, and knows a lot of information. Added to that is the exceptional knowledge on grammar and excellent grasp of the English language. Of course, the wisdom to come up with fresh article is needed too. All of these should be possessed by one who is aspiring to become a writer.
There are different types of writing these days. There are article writers, who write on informative contents. There are copywriters, who write to market a specific product. There are product description and product review writers who need to be persuasive when detailing a product. There are ghostwriters, who write on anything and are okay to give to their clients patent to their own writing. There are many more out there; you just need to spend time reading the web and you will discover one that will suit your characteristics.
One of the most promising today is being a medical writer. This is promising because this pays well. However, not because you are a topnotch writer in many fields, you can already grab a medical writing career. This is not to discourage aspiring one but if you are, you need to know that medical writing is not at par as other writing fields. Being a medical writer is like a doctor in writing. You will inform readers of health conditions, you will advise them to do this and that, and you will inform them of the possible risk their current condition poses.
This is the reason why a medical related site has full of questions from readers; the information are accurate and distinct, and so the answers to the questions. Actually, any wrong information shared to the site is subject not only with criticisms from readers but may also have legal implications. If you are maintaining a medical related site and accidentally posed wrong information, you already set your site to fail.
Top 3 Essential Qualities of a Medical Writer
Excellent Grasp of the English Language
All writers must possess this, more so in medical writing. Remember, medical writing is writing medical terms in plain English. If in the first place you don’t know how to speak and write in English, you will have a hard time translating the medical terms. More than 50% of the readers in a medical website are not medically inclined.
Most actually are reading an article online about a certain condition before they go to a doctor. If they find the information complete, they even opt not to visit one. So imagine the impact if you don’t have a good grasp of the English language. Here are some tips on how you can develop an excellent grasp of the English language:
Read, Read, and Read
Fact is, all writers are avid readers. If you are a genuine writer, you know that reading anything is vital in improving your grasp of the English language. You need not focus reading on academic contents. Even a novel, a newspaper, or a magazine in English is okay.
Watch English Movies
Watching English movies or even television programs will also help you improve English knowledge. Actually, a child who was introduced to English television programs has higher capability of making English as primary language. This is how influential TV programs and movies are.
Practice What you Read and Watch
Of course, you need to apply what you have acquired. You can start conversing with English with close acquaintances so you won’t be shy to do it. You can even hire or seek help from an expert to expound your English language tongue if you really want to excel on this.
Exceptional Grammar Skills
Having excellent English language grasp does not automatically mean you have exceptional skills in grammar. The two is totally different. Grammar skills are somewhat more “academic.” You need to review your lessons on sentence structure, verbs, conjunctions, adjective, nouns, and the likes. Having basic knowledge is already okay.
If you are practicing your writing, your skills will develop as you go along. After all, readers are keener to the information in your article. You just need to be ready for those web critics who instead of focusing on the content will focus finding mistakes. So as much as possible, please review and update your grammar skills. Now, here are tips on how to improve your grammar skills:
Answer Online Grammar Exams
There are free online grammar exams that you download and practice. These exams have different levels from beginners to experts. You can start from the simplest until you reach the most complex. You need not do this in one sitting. You spend time studying and focus on what area you are most likely to fail. Overtime, you will discover how pro you are already in terms of grammar.
Test your Writing Skills
There are also free grammar correction software that you can download from the internet. What you can do is to write an article of your own and check it in the correction software. As you go along, you will know your weakest area. Focus more on that and correct it. Don’t stop until such time that the correction software tells you are already 99.99% accurate.
While others say that you need not a medical degree, having one is of an essential matter. If you aren’t, imagine the time you will spend researching and identifying the valid and accurate information from your references. Will you be confident to pose a medical article if you aren’t sure of its precision? When you write a medical article, you are also writing about life and death; and you wouldn’t want your article to be an accessory to an unexpected death of a person. Yes it’s true, any wrong information you will pose to your medical article can be an ingredient to another person’s death. Say that this is overrating medical writing; but it needs to be.
If you do not have a medical background and still wants to be a medical writer, be ready to spend a significant amount of time researching and validating the authenticity of your article. One article may take you days and even weeks before you can pose. How is your profit on that? Imagine how tedious and daunting the task is and yet you are to earn only a little. Even if one medical article costs a lot, if you can only do some in a month, your profit will still not be promising.
Top of the line companies that look for a medical writer won’t accept writers without medical background too. They look for credentials that will prove your skills and identity. If you will apply to such company and you don’t have a medical background, you will not make it to them. If there are companies that do not require proving your medical background, these companies pay low rates.
Where to Look for Writing Gig
Google is a friendly search engine that can give you a long list of sites hiring medical writers. If you are new to this writing gig, remember that you can land into two different types of site.
Article Writing Services Sites
These are sites hiring for different types of writers. If your search landed to their page, they are hiring for medical writers too. Working with them is like working with an agency. They are directly connected to the site or company requiring for medical writers while you are not.
You will serve as a ghostwriter for them (may not allow you to provide your identity to your written contents). The rate of course is a bit lower compared to working directly to the sites requiring the medical writers. Sample of these sites are Freelancer.com, Odesk.Com, Elance.com and many more.
Sites Requiring Medical Writers
Applying to these sites means applying directly. More often than not, applicants are being screened by medical doctors and the likes. This is to test your identity. If you passed, you are to start a better paying and long term medical writing career with them. They pay higher than those article writing services sites yet, their requirements are stiffer.
Do not just grab any site that you see. Assess yourself first what line of medical article you are comfortable writing. There are different sites with different niche in the medical field. There are those that specialize in heart ailment-related articles, in diabetes, in cancer, in health and nutrition, and many more. It is better to focus in one company first than work to all of them.
How to Prepare Before Applying
Prepare your Best Portfolio
It is always better to have a good portfolio. Anybody can just claim that they have medical background and that they have excellent skills. Your portfolio will determine how genuine you are. Spend time making your portfolio to impress your prospect clients. Make it detailed as possible but of course easy to understand.
Prepare your Sample Articles
Nothing beats an applicant with sample articles. If you are applying first time, make few articles first to serve as samples. In this way, you already impress your clients at first point of interface.
The secret to a successful medical writing career is not only dependent on your caliber as a writer. With the stiff competition these days, where everybody is a writer, your persistence will be your key. You may not be able to land to a perfect medical writing job at hand, but in due time you will as long you will be patient and persistent.
Making yourself available to clients and other prospects is another. If they will see you always online, they will know that you are seriously considering this online writing job.