In a very public way, Rebecca Claunch let the world know she was ready to write. When Penn-Well launched its social media site for dental professionals in 2008, someone from the Dental Economics side wrote readers, “As editors, we often get so boxed in to what we think we know you want to read, that sometimes we miss what you really want to see and read. So what is it that we could run in Dental Economics, Dental Office, or Proofs that would be of interest to you? I’m sure that Mark Hartley and RDH would be interested to hear your thoughts as well.”Rebecca posted a comment in response: “I ... would welcome the opportunity to write for a column where
Rebecca Claunch, RDH, wrote several articles for RDH eVillage. According to Web traffic statistics, her three most popular articles were “Queen Bees, micromanagers, and bullies: Demons in the workplace,” “Has Hygiene Been Hijacked?” and “Fair and balanced wages for the thriving.” The first two can be found on DentistryIQ.com, and the latter is hosted at RDHmag.com. Search for “Claunch.”
Eventually, she hooked up with Kristine Hodsdon, the director of RDH eVillage, and history was made. Her articles were published in RDH eVillage via links through RDHmag.com and DentistryIQ.com. The latter, of course, contains articles written by members of all dental occupations. Still, as of this writing, Rebecca penned two of the top 15 most popular articles. Her article titled, “Queen Bees, micromanagers, and bullies: Demons in the workplace” ranks fifth in DentistryIQ.com page views.
That’s quite an accomplishment for someone who came out of the woodwork. Unfortunately, her time with us in the dental profession ended too early as she passed away on Feb. 5 at age 54.
Anne Guignon, the author of the “Comfort Zone” column, is fond of telling mutual acquaintances how she called me one day about writing a column for RDH. I tried to steer her toward writing some feature articles, since she was a complete stranger to me. Most columnists have a track record as a writer or an editor. Anne had very little on her bibliography at the time.
But I listened to her. Earlier in the 1990s, I had written some OSHA-based articles, including on the topic of ergonomics. So by the time Anne contacted me, I was thoroughly disgusted by the prevalence of occupational injuries in the dental profession. So I welcomed her input.
You can argue with me all you want, but there’s no question in my mind that the “Comfort Zone” column has made dentistry a safer place to work.
On the other hand, Dianne Glasscoe Watterson did write various feature articles for RDH and Dental Economics. She had paid her dues as a writer. One morning she began e-mailing me about a practice management column. She spent much of that day shooting down every reservation I had about what became the “Staff Rx” column. RDH would occassionally publish articles regarding dental practice management, but the magazine had never dealt with these topics every single month.
Dianne finally convinced me, and “Staff Rx” is arguably one of the most popular columns appearing in the magazine.
Sometimes you need to step out to the garage, find a nice two-by-four that’s in good shape, and whack an editor over the head with it.
Don’t knock; bang on the door.
Kristine and I were saddened by the news about Rebecca. But we were glad she found her voice as a writer.