Every writer likes a regular gig and I’m lucky to have a few. My regular health column is written for the Discover magazine group but syndicated all over the place, so I’m never sure where it will turn up – or when!
This article on the right is from last year, but I notice it’s doing the rounds again this year. This makes no difference to my finances; once it’s gone and I’m paid for it, it’s gone, because that’s the nature of the deal I have. But it’s nice to see it about.
I write the column around 10 weeks in advance, so the articles that have appeared in the July, August and September magazines were all written in the spring.
July’s column was on a topic I’ve written about before, and something I have experience of – orthodontic braces. In November my braces will turn three, and I’m really hoping they don’t make it to four! I’ve had some awful dentistry in the past, and eventually I was faced with either getting the damage fixed at huge expense and still having potential problems and crooked teeth, or having the damaged teeth removed and all the others moved so that the gaps disappear – for just a little more. I knew it could take two years, but three was more than I was bargaining for. It’s been worth it though, and the end is in sight.
However, this article wasn’t about my personal experiences. It looked at the advantages of orthodontics and the available options. The image on the left shows a shortened syndicated version with a truly scary picture (nothing to do with me!).
August’s title was ‘Why Breast is Still Best – But Not Compulsory’, timed to coincide with World Breastfeeding Month. I covered the benefits for both mother and baby – hopefully including a few that some people weren’t aware of – and looked at some of the myths and misunderstandings that discourage new mums from even trying it.
The longer version included a selection of personal experiences and comments that I gathered when surveying friends and friends of friends – it’s good to get a real-life perspective on these things!
Sitting down was the theme this month – but the article wasn’t about how dangerous a lack of regular exercise is (although of course, Exercise Is Good).
It was about the dangers of sitting for prolonged periods, regardless of whether you train for marathons in between those three-hour TV binges – because sadly those marathons mean very little if you spend hours sitting. Strange, unsettling, but true.
I was aware of some of the research, but looking into it more deeply certainly made me think about my work patterns. I go for at least one walk every day and subject myself to some form of torturous, thigh-killing exercise once or twice a week; but it’s very easy to sit at the computer for hours when you’re a writer, and working from home means you have to discipline yourself to take regular breaks and go walkabout. Nobody else says, “Coming for a cuppa?”
But of course, these articles have all begun to fade in my memory because in writing terms, they were over and done with long ago; October and November’s columns are already written, so Psoriasis and Movember are coming soon to a magazine near you.
Meanwhile, I’m waiting for my editor to confirm which of my pitches she wants to choose for December’s column. Hmm… that’s a timely reminder that the month is flying by and I need to give her a nudge. December’s column won’t write itself, and it needs to be in Monday week… *scribbles note to self*
If you’re a writer, what have you pitched or published recently? Do tell! 🙂