Friday, June 27, 2014

Have I read anything you've written?

When people find out that I'm a health writer, one of the first questions I'm usually asked is "Do you write for magazines?" or "Have I read anything you've written?" The first question is easy - yes, I have. The second one, I'm never really sure what to answer. It's possible that you may have read something I wrote without knowing it.

Much of what I write isn't bylined. That means it doesn't say "By Marijke Vroomen Durning" under the title or at the end. There are several reasons for this. I may be hired to write content for a site, as I do for Sepsis Alliance. I may write brochures or newsletters for a client that are either online or in print. For one client, I summarize medical studies for physicians and while I did have my byline on those pieces, since I do several a week they were pretty well all you could find if you Googled my name. This isn't so helpful if I'm trying to market myself as a health writer for the general public. I still write them, but now as a "staff writer." And, occasionally I'll do some ghost writing for other clients, which means I write something for which someone else takes credit. That's my least favorite type of writing. I'm completely ok with not having my name on something I've written, but to see someone else's name on my work, that's different.

But back to things I've written that people may have read. I've written for a few magazines, including Costco Connection, Alive, Montreal Home, The Quilter, and Women of Influence. For a few months last year, I wrote for There, I wrote about several things, including the importance of having a carbon monoxide detector in your home, if e-cigarettes are safe, and if your sexual identity should be part of the demographic information in your medical records.

I've also written for a couple of health news services, where wrote about breaking study news, such as how amputations related to diabetes complications were going down in numbers, and obesity may raise the risk of migraines. I've also written for popular sites that want fast, punchy, friendly pieces, such as homework tips for children with ADHD, and why practicing fire drills at home is essential.

But not everything is about coping with or preventing illnesses. Sometimes I have a bit of fun or I reflect on things, like with this article/essay, Every Patient Has a Story. I've also written some funny pieces for some nursing sites that were a nice break from the heavier health and medical news.

So, have you read something I've written? It's entirely possible but we may never know.

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