Meet a Member: Lana Christian

Their are many types of professional communicators. Some write for newspapers and magazines. Others write for blogs and for technical publications. NFPW member Lana Christian shares her writing talent writing about healthcare and life sciences. Many times she is writing for peer-reviewed publications. Just like other communicators, her talent is in telling a story so her audience can understand. Meet another one of the unique and unbelievable NFPW members, Lana Christian.

Name: Lana Christian

City and State:  I currently live in Fairview, Oregon, and previously lived in Indiana.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Indiana and Oregon affiliates; no leadership positions

Years a member of NFPW: 7+

Lana Christian

Lana Christian

In a couple of paragraphs, tell us a little about you.

I write for the healthcare and life science industries, dba CreateWrite® Inc. Much of my writing is full-length articles for peer-reviewed medical journals; but I also write newsletter articles for hospitals, patient education materials, continuing medical education programs, training materials for pharmaceutical reps, and DVD scripts (e.g., “here’s how a stent works”).  Seasonally, I also write grant applications for researchers and medical textbook chapters.

Much of that may sound far afield from what many NFPW participants write each day, but the common ground is that a medical writer still has to be good at “telling the story.” Science standing on its own does not garner grant funding or a journal editor’s green-lighting a manuscript. So the work I do is a combination of science and art. Although scouring medical databases to find appropriate references and interviewing MDs or PhDs are usually part of my work, I always need to write compelling content that tells readers why they should take notice of a researcher’s findings or a doctor’s cutting-edge procedure.

Any career advice you would give?

(1) Never stop honing your craft.

(2) If you admire a writer or an article, ask yourself why. Deconstruct it and learn from it.

(3) Be conscious of how you write what you write, even if it’s “just” a personal blog. Strive to make it something you can be just as proud of as a headliner article in the publication of your dreams.

(4) Learn how to be an ace at asking the right questions during interviews. If you excel at that, then the article will almost write itself.

(5) Everyone can be a better writer next year than they are this year if they keep actively practicing the art of writing.

Which talent would you most like to have?

True entrepreneurship. I have great ideas for several companies but am not sure how to put feet to them.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

In the mountains, away from big cities. I do live in a mountainous area right now, and I’m in a fairly small town; but I’d like to move out of town if I could afford to buy acreage in the country.

What book are you reading?

I just finished Hattie Kauffman’s Falling Into Place: A Memoir of Overcoming.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I wrote my first book when I was 11. (It chronicled my first summer at church camp.) In more recent years, I’ve coauthored or authored numerous healthcare books, as well as a business book, Proofread Like a Pro. One of my biggest accomplishments when I was still working in the hospital environment was to create a career development program for employees who wanted to move up within the system. Called Career Quest®, it became an integral part of that organization’s culture. After I left the hospital setting, Career Quest® was renamed, repackaged and marketed externally. When I’m not writing, I devote time to my passions of hiking, cooking, working with the homeless and international missions.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

NFPW helps me stay connected to a side of journalism that keeps my skills honed for newspaper articles and hospital newsletters. That type of journalism requires a bit different mindset and some degree of different writing skills than the research-heavy writing I often do. I get great satisfaction from both kinds of writing.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

Website (includes a Contact page) http://createwriteinc.com. I also have LinkedIn profile for my business.

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