Tips and guide to writing your article

When asked to write for ConsultingFootPain (CFP), I am asked by many how long should an article should be, what format and when it should be sent in – the deadline. These are all easy questions to answer, but it is worth putting more detail together if you want to write for ConsultingFootPain.

This article is a quick read – under 1000 words which is around a 4-minute read. Reading times

Length

An article of 1500 words is a good length and allows a single message to get through. Anything up to 2500 words is acceptable. Longer pieces are often recommended to be broken down into two parts. I have done this with several authors and one ran as a 5 part series.

Format

ConsultingFootPain (CFP) is not a formal journal and does not encourage high-quality research papers because these are not the type of material that is quick and easy to digest. The idea of complexity is not best as we want readers to find the text and narrative easy to digest. You may find this article of interest – Writing to be understood and the Flesch score. The score for this article is 67 – easy to read.

Of course your format is likely to drop into clinical articles if it is ‘professional’. On the other hand, if it is designed to be more layperson intended, Footlocker is the site’s general public section. Decide which you prefer.

  • Information about a condition?
  • Case histories with conclusions?
  • Patient perspectives
  • Learning points
  • A happy, funny, sad story to reveal your clinical experience
  • Key areas – all sports, MSK, wound management, high risk, surgery, disability

The readership number varies monthly, but CFP can reach over 10,000 people.

Write from the heart, inject passion, tell a story and avoid patronising readership. Be open, honest and reflective—readers like hearing mistakes and how you overcome problems.

Illustrations as images liven up an article, but CFP will do this if you are stuck using high-quality, licensed stock photos. References – I find clickable links work better than references, although I have nothing against references.

When to send in your article?

Once you are happy, get the article sent in so it can be reviewed quickly and feedback offered. Most pieces need little attention, but CFP is here to improve your writing, zing a bit more if we can and help your creative skills. So plenty of time is best, so I can organise its distribution.

How is your article distributed?

The article will go onto the site depending upon the subject. For example, if you are writing about a current sport, it would go out immediately within days. If there is a less immediate need, it may be delayed up to 4 weeks. The following Reflective Practice Newsfeed will carry the article, which goes out to around 3000 readers being supported after a delay to social media sites including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Instagram is also used but not frequently.

Getting down to writing

There are a few principles worth noting – call them writing tips.

  • Set aside 30 minutes
  • Put a rough title at the top
  • Start writing down the information you want to publish
  • Try to write 1000 words straight in a quiet room without distractions
  • Avoid doing this when tired
  • Pick up the draft and review it and make modifications after hours or a couple of days and refine it

An article that has a message is essential. A short introduction tells us what you intend. The middle provides the bulk of the material and the end brings it together.

CFP is here to help, to encourage and motivate you. Your writing says much about you and your practice and helps promote your profession’s image.

Last word

Your article is yours and although CFP can use it with your agreement, you can use the link anywhere. Make sure you use it on your website. You are recommended to reference CFP and are welcome to use any other articles on your site as nothing is under copyright.

Many articles have sufficient quality to be upgraded to my podiatry publications so that you may find your name in print in a book.

There are plenty of reasons to write, but it is hoped I can encourage you to appreciate the pleasures of constructing a story that, in time, will record your contribution to the field of podiatric medicine.


Thanks for reading ‘Writing for ConsultingFootPain’ by David R Tollafield

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