Welcome to The Light Stuff
One of the unwritten laws of EMWA is ‘Never talk to the editor of the journal if you don't want to end up working on it in your spare time’. I can joke about this because as I was the editor of the EMWA journal from 1998 to 2004 back in the days when it was called The Write Stuff, and during my tenure, people avoided me at meetings like I was infected with the plague. It sometimes seemed that the only thing that was needed to empty the bar of people at an EMWA conference was for me to enter. So I definitely should have known better than to talk with Phil Leventhal, the current Editor of Medical Writing, at the recent EMWA conference in Berlin. We were naturally discussing the EMWA journal past and present when I foolishly mentioned that I missed the humour section of the journal that we had in The Write Stuff entitled ‘The Lighter Side’. I instantly regretted it as I saw Phil's eyes twinkle and he pounced on me like a spider on the unsuspecting fly who has just stumbled onto the web and said, ‘Well then why don't you bring it back for Medical Writing?’ As one who firmly believes that nothing in life is worth doing if we cannot keep our sense of humour, I agreed. So here we are with the revival of what I hope is a great tradition. I thought that a name combining the old title of the humour page (The Lighter Side) combined with the old title of the EMWA journal (The Write Stuff) would be perfect and thus the name was born . . . ‘The Light Stuff’.
In the coming months we will be continuing the tradition of (hopefully) humorous quotes and anecdotes about medical writing from ‘The Lighter Side’ which some of you may still remember, as well as cartoons with a medical writing theme. Of course, I will be overjoyed to consider ideas or material submitted by the readers, so if there is anything you might like to share with the EMWA members, PLEASE let me know. Indeed, if we can make you laugh or even smile occasionally, then it will all have been worth doing, for as Andrew Carnegie (Scottish-American Industrialist and Philanthropist) said, ‘There is little success where there is little laughter’.
Trilogy Writing & Consulting Frankfurt, Germany