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We are keen to include more reports of experience of quality improvement: what works and what does not, how changes affect patient care, and how we can translate what we know into practice. But many of those involved in interesting projects tell us that they find it hard to start writing because, for example, they have insufficient time or are unfamiliar with the process. We asked Tim Albert, who provides courses and support programmes to those who wish to publish, to explain how to overcome such obstacles.
We know, often from bitter personal experience, that writing a paper can be a long and complex task, involving all kinds of skills (such as time management, negotiation skills and writing in simple language) that aren’t necessarily taught to health professionals. But we want you to persevere because we feel there is a lot of interesting work going on out there that doesn’t see the light of day. So the purpose of this article is to give added impetus to those who want to write for this journal but aren’t quite sure how.
First, clarify your message. What is the story you want to tell? Express it in a single sentence of 10–14 words using simple language. Write it down. Ask your co-authors to help you to define and refine this message. Far from making your …
Conflict of interest: Tim Albert makes his living by running courses on writing and editing skills for health professionals.