Don't stand too close or something disgusting might splatter on your shirt. Similar to making sausage, a writing career can often be messy, invoke scatologic language, and expose you to some gristly bits best left unseen.
Many of you have called or sent the kindest notes over the last 6 months congratulating me on the blogs, thanking me for a useful insight, or requesting collaborative opportunities. I don't want to burst any bubbles but just like hamburger doesn't arrange itself in neat styrofoam packages with saran wrap--in the absence of slaughter and sacrifice--somedays it is a fight to the finish.
My advice is always to start now. Start today. It isn't easy for any of us--trust me. Clients won't pay you, you will feel under-valued, over-looked, living out of a suitcase gets old, editing often feels like gall-bladder removal, and we stand on alluvial soil. Heatlhcare is transitioning faster than the blue line metro heading to the Brookings institution. Go listen to the economists, the health policy leaders, scientists, data analysts, and the content creators. I travel for hours just for a few minutes of face time--or to ask a question.
One minute I am riding Amtrak up to DC listening to the Diane Rehm Show--as they discuss the debate over drug pricing, and the next day I am asking a member of the panel, Craig Garthwaite, health economist, a question about drug costs and policies. What is the downside of reporting from the White House (Conference on Aging), National Institutes of Health, or even presenting at a meeting in Hawaii? Well, suit up and I will share a few truths...
Today for example, between writerly obligations, I took the aforementioned cat to the vet, picked up drycleaning, booked an airline ticket for a flight that leaves from North Carolina while I am still in DC--unless I drive back home the same night. At least I will save money on the hotel. I will pack 2 bags tonight. The one that goes with me tomorrow and the one that I need to grab to catch my flight on Sunday.
Now I am finally able to start writing. My sons are otherwise entertained, my husband is filling up the Prius for my trip to DC--and I am sipping an iced tea in my quiet home office. I love to spread out my books and pick them up as needed, sketching notes hoping to get to the scheduled word count in time to join my family at a celebration downtown. Life is good. Don't compare your beginning with someone else's middle.
Thoughtful discussions about content development and outcomes analytics that apply the principles and frameworks of health policy and economics to persistent and perplexing health and health care problems.