You might be wondering what happens when you hire one a veterinary content writer. After all, hiring a writer from our team of vets is easy – simply give us the details (title, wordcount, maybe some SEO data), and we’ll send you the finished article.

But what happens behind the scenes? We asked one of our veterinary content writers, Dr Rebecca Macmillan, to let us know what it’s like to work as a vet writer at The Veterinary Content Company.

“I’m currently on maternity leave with my third baby boy, so life can be pretty busy at home! I began veterinary content writing a couple of years ago now, doing it alongside my clinical day job. Writing has always been a passion of mine, so it’s been great to be able to find an outlet for it. Being a vet writer also helps keep my brain ticking while I am home with my young family.

A typical day starts quite early for me, getting kids to school and nursery, and taking my youngest along to a baby group. The rest of the day I can go with the flow a bit more, fitting in my medical writing around nap times and chores.

I start by checking my emails to see what projects I’ve been assigned to and read the briefs. We have a variety of clients, with different audiences, so I must ensure I am getting the tone and language right. I have written pieces for both pet owners and fellow veterinary surgeons, as well as working on a mixture of original content and editing existing pieces. Topics can vary wildly too, anything from serious subjects like euthanasia and infectious diseases to more light-hearted articles on quirky pet behaviours.

So, research forms a big part of what I do. It’s important that what I write is factually correct and up to date, so I try and find reputable sources to back up my points. It also provides readers with further resources so that they can find out more about a topic. This particularly helps when I am on a limited word count. Also, while I like to think that I have broad veterinary knowledge as an experienced general practitioner, researching my articles helps refresh my memory. I sometimes learn a few new things along the way too! Content writing is therefore also an excellent way of helping me to fulfil the need for continued professional development (CPD) that we are required to do as vets.

Once a topic is flowing, I will keep going on it for as long as I can. But if my little one has other ideas, then I can always put things down and continue later!

I find that even when I’m not actually sitting at my computer, I’m mulling over ideas. Thinking about introductory sentences or points that I need to add a piece often happens while sticking a load in the washing machine or doing the school run!

At the end of the day, once the children are in bed and all is calm, I tend to position myself back at the laptop, in a comfortable chair with a hot drink by my side. Each piece is re-read several times, so that I can tweak it for grammar and spelling, making sure that it conveys the message that it needs to. Once I’m completely happy with it, I send the article to the admin team, who forward it for additional proofreading. Evenings tend to be uninterrupted and this is when I can get most of my work done. I just have to be disciplined not to go to bed too late!

I plan to continue writing once I head back to work again soon. Being a pet copywriter allows me to use my veterinary degree in a different way. However, it complements my day job by helping me to remotely educate a wider audience of pet owners as well as refreshing my own knowledge each time I ‘put pen to paper’. I also get a buzz knowing that work doesn’t have to stop when I leave the practice. Pet content writing is an alternative way of being able to contribute to animal health, one that I can flexibly work around family life.”

Being a veterinary content writer at TVCC is easy, and so is hiring vets like Becky to write your content. We take care of all of the hard work so that you don’t have to! For more information, get in touch, or read more about our services.

Joanna Woodnutt

Joanna Woodnutt

Dr Joanna Woodnutt MRCVS is a qualified vet, freelance writer, and editor at The Veterinary Content Company. She lives in the Channel Islands with her husband and daughter, as well as their naughty but loveable terrier, Pixie.