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Downtime in Freelance-land

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It’s a cliché, but it’s true – freelancing is a rollercoaster. It’s taken a while for me to accept that reality and go with it. When I’m busy, my projects can start to feel like a relentless avalanche. When I’m not, I start to feel a little lost. When I’m busy, I remind myself that…

2014 Retrospective

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So 2014. I started the year off in a panic. November and December were dismal and I was sure that this was the final downslope on the freelance rollercoaster. That there would never be another upswing. I don’t think I will ever get comfortable with the ebb and flow of freelancing. I love the freedom, and the ability…

Diversifying vs. Finding a Niche

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So a long time ago, I wrote a post on the importance of finding a niche. It’s important, otherwise you run the risk of overextending yourself, maybe taking jobs that don’t quite fit your particular skill set and getting paid relatively little as a consequence of climbing the learning curve. However… I have also been…

Burning out and booting up

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It’s been a while – I’ve been busy. That’s an understatement, actually. I’ve been swamped. Overloaded. Overbooked. Overwhelmed. You get the picture. I don’t know what happened, but my schedule somehow went bonkers. Either I need a better project tracking system (any suggestions?) or I need to remind myself more often how many hours there are…

Reasoning, arguing, and biomedical writing

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Now that I’ve completed the Writing in the Sciences course on Coursera (and received my official certificate, yay me!), I decided to take a course called Think Again: How to Argue – along with 72,000 other people around the world. I originally signed up to learn how to argue politics more civilly with my family-who-supports-the-other-party. But as the…

Addicted to learning

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Am I crazy? Don’t I have enough on my plate already? Thanks to my AMWA colleagues (I’m looking at you KOKedit!), I was introduced to the world of free online courses at Coursera. Essentially, Coursera has enabled my addiction to school. Since graduating, I’ve often mentioned that it would be nice to go back to school – and…

Balancing freedom and security in a freelance career

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I’m one year into my freelance career in biomedical writing and editing, and I just passed my two-year blogiversary. So, I suppose it’s time for me to take a look back and evaluate my progress. In general, freelancing boils down to balancing the need for financial security with the freedom to plan my own day. Freelancing is…

Grantwriting for biotech? Sign me up!

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Earlier this month I attended an excellent workshop on SBIR/STTR grants that was hosted by the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Association (iBio) PROPEL program, and was led by Lisa Kurek from Biotechnology Business Consultants. I decided to attend because I’ve touched just about every research and training grant mechanism from the NIH, but haven’t done much in the…

Training grants: I had no idea…

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I just finished working on an NIH training grant (T32) for the very first time, and I have to say, I had no idea. First off, a definition: the NIH T32 grant mechanism is “the primary means of supporting predoctoral and postdoctoral research training to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to…

On niches and boundaries

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2012 will be my first year as a completely independent freelance biomedical writer and editor. My freelance business has been through the various stages of hobby to side work to part time job to full time job, and this will be the first year that it represents all of my income. No pressure, right? When…

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