Sunday, July 31, 2011

Learning to write again - the art of writing an abstract

I have always prided myself with the fact that I was a pretty good writer. And having spent the past 5 years in academia furthering my education, being published and of course the myriad of polices, procedures, clinical guidelines, executive summaries and other miscellaneous clinical reports that I seem to write on a daily basis again confirm that I am fairly good with the written word. Until this summer that is. Perhaps it is not so much the words but the format. I have recently started writing abstracts and speaker submissions for conferences which is new for me. And it is very different. It started earlier this year when a colleague asked me to help her write an abstract for a poster presentation for her professional conference - what a challenge it was having word and character limits not to mention special formatting requirements. Then I attended NTI in Chicago and got I submitted two proposals for live speaker sessions at NTI 2012 in Orlando. And I have to say that I wish I could go back and re-do them. Since the AACN deadline in June, I have submitted another proposal and it was so much better...I am starting to get the hang of it. It's like giving a sneak peek of something - like a television show. You want to pique curiosity and sell your idea, but you don't want to give away too much, because then there is nothing left to watch or see and you have to do it in so many minutes or in this case words and characters, but you also have to provide certain key details. So now it is hours away from August and I have submitted a total of 3 or 4 abstracts or speaker submission proposals and I now wait to see if any will be accepted. Even if they are not, it's okay, the experience itself has taught me a great deal and I am sure I will continue to learn and master this new way of writing. Besides there are many more opportunities ahead.

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