PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.: Writing Angst.
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PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.

Peter Rost, M.D., is a former Pfizer Marketing Vice President providing services as a medical device and drug expert witness and pharmaceutical marketing expert. Judge Sanders: "The court agrees with defendants' view that Dr. Rost is a very adept and seasoned expert witness." He is also the author of Emergency Surgery, The Whistleblower and Killer Drug. You can reach him on rostpeter (insert symbol) hotmail.com. Please read the terms of use agreement and privacy policy for this blog carefully.

Writing Angst.

I haven’t had much of writing angst. Usually when I sit down the words simply flow. That’s both good and bad. It can go pretty fast, but often I find ways to improve on what I wrote later. Or I decide that what I wrote didn’t really convey what I was thinking, so I tinker with a few words. After all, the mind can be a pretty muddy place.

But sometimes it is really hard to decide if something is edgy and fun, or simply over the edge. And that’s the time when I wish there was an editor nearby, the way professional magazines do this.

I’ve received a little bit of help in the sense that lately many of my articles have been published in a variety of other media. See this.

So when I have something I’m not sure if it is going to come across the right way I can send it over to one of those newsletters and a real editor will judge if the story is worth printing.

I have to admit that I struggled a bit with the story I’ve been a very bad boy. It appears in full length in CounterPunch. And since this is a liberal-progressive, women’s lib type publication, I figured if they appreciated the tone, then I would be fine. But in my own post I eventually decided to cut the second part—about the attractive lawyer. That’s the downside with publishing other places—you can’t change when you change your mind.

What I struggled with was if the second part was lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek enough, or if it could be misunderstood.

No one would probably mind being described as attractive, yet, when it comes to women we have such a sensitive environment that this is a very tricky area. It is OK for a woman to say that another woman is appealing, but it is a lot trickier for a man to say this. And it is probably even trickier to say this about a lawyer. That was, of course, part of the appeal of writing the story this way.

And then I realized, not knowing what is right, I could ask YOU.

Should I have kept the original article, the way it appears in CounterPunch or is the new shorter version I’ve been a very bad boy the way to go?

I really do want to know what you think, since my mind is, well muddy. And if you do comment, it would be good to know if you are a man or a woman . . .

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think the Celtics should trade for Allen Iverson? Who would you trade? Delonte West, Ratliffe, Telfair and draft picks?

I say don't trade Green, Perkins, Pierce, Szierbiek, Gomes,or Jefferson. That could be 80% of a championship team.

12/14/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought your paragraph about the attractive defense lawyer was interesting, and I especially liked your observation about lawyers putting on an "adversarial" attitude--all in a day's work and patently phony. Ignoring attractive forces like sexuality in human affairs, like ignoring the attractive force of gravity in physics, just puts us further from the truth, IMO. It was a nice, exuberant little essay made worse by the absence of that last paragraph.

Read your follow-up article in Counterpunch too. Sure, the attractive lawyer bit attracted me to your site, but so was the bit about being an ex-VP for Pfizer (first I'd heard of you), so did your above-it-all humour, and so did your general comment about lawyers' "adversarial" attitudes. It's become a truism in my life that other men have lower (different?) standards for what make women attractive than I do, so although what you wrote stoked my fantasy, I never really believed that she's as attractive as you say.

I'm male, by the way.

12/15/2006  
Blogger Peter Rost said...

Thanks for the feed-back. Any of my many female readers? Any thoughts on above?

12/15/2006  
Anonymous Dora said...

I liked the article before you deleted the part about the lawyer... but I love everything you do!

12/15/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry, be happy, just let it flow.

12/15/2006  
Blogger Mary said...

I too am that much of an extrovert. Maybe losing estrogen is what caused my diss-detector to go out and my anything-for-a-laugh switch to go on. Maybe it is too much yoga. Anyway, can you worst-case leaving the article the way it was? According to Garrison Keilor, worst-casing can help one decide things. You imagine the consequences. In your case, it's not going to be like Gene Wilder in Stir-Crazy. No one is going to put you in solitary. It's just that certain large corporations are not going to want to hire you, though others may like you better. I like science-experiment suspense. It's likely I would be unable to restrain myself from stirring the water.

Mary

12/16/2006  
Anonymous Gary said...

You didn't really need to ask, did you Peter? Counterpunch, of course.

I miss reading your 'stuff'..this whole three jobs thing is starting to bum me out. Maybe some day I'll be able to cut her back to two. Dare to dream!

12/16/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Doc,

As a woman, I appreciate you even being conscious of this. What you are describing as "tricky" is really about respect. Smart women, especially, can find it demeaning to be complemented in a way that could insinuate their success is due in part to their looks/ bodies.

Here's the twist though. As you know, there is a difference between working women and career women; The working woman is usually doing it to supplement her husband’s income or to simply speak, pay the bills. The career woman is involved in direct competition with men over leadership positions and influencing opinion in her favor to get that big promotion/raise is absolutely important to achieve this end. We all know the old saying, "it's not about what you know, but who you know." Yeah, women have figured that out and the attractive smart one’s have really taken advantage of this, after all, most of the hiring and firing is still done by men. In your article, I thought it was critical to point out the fact that you thought the Pfizer lawyer attractive, it made sense that Pfizer could very well plan out something that intricate, like choosing an attractive/"cool" lawyer to distract you. Or maybe, you’re just a horny old man. Lol, guess you knew that was coming too… sorry. Not sure if this helps.

12/17/2006  
Blogger Peter Rost said...

That helps a lot. Very smart and balanced response. Quite frankly, for me it was more about writing an entertaining story than any deeper feelings or reflections, (since I'm not allowed to write about facts of depositions) . . . but writing such a story also takes tact and finess, and I wasn't quite sure. So I figured, why not ask, like one would do in any writing class . . . any more female readers and their comments?

12/17/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Female 2 cent response:

I don't get why CounterPunch ran it. It's a fluff piece I expect to read here (on occasion) at your blog. "The Fencing Master" was far better, and more interesting writing on the subject.

I didn't particularly like the piece, because it came across to me (while reading it) as one of your self indulgent semi-promotional rambles. The whole - "I've been a very bad boy", come on over to my blog and view some some videos "with misleading headlines". I've succumbing to "the primal caveman urge to simply have fun". End with some physical details of an encounter with a female lawyer type. - In word, 'boorish'.

Also, when you write a piece for publication elsewhere; I'd prefer just a mention on your blog with a link provided for full reading in that environment. I frequent Counterpunch, reading there, and finding it again here, is redundant.

12/18/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

female saying ditto to female 2 cents

12/18/2006  
Blogger Peter Rost said...

Mmmh. Good. So I did the right thing rewriting. What surprised me was that readers appeared to have a different opinion. Never before had so many visits from CounterPunch. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that what people say the like and what peaks their interest are two different things.

12/18/2006  
Blogger Moogirl said...

Ah, Doc, I see you’re still at it! My first reaction to your story was, that lawyer is circling your boat. Never forget that she is a shark, and pretty is her bait. Kinda like saying, “oooh, that shark has the most beautiful eyes, and did you see the fins on that thing?” just before it bites your leg off. Pretty is her weapon, don’t think she’s not using it to manipulate you.

But that’s not exactly what you were asking, is it? You should always stick with your first impulse. Sure, stories can always be tweaked to read better, but you should always trust your first instinct as far as content goes. Otherwise, you’re not being true to yourself.

Having fun IS the name of the game. Readers be damned! Do you do this for fun? Or do you do it for accolades? If you’re writing so the masses love you, then you’re really just another hack. Ah, but if you’re writing about what YOU love, and you’re writing the way YOU like and about what amuses YOU, then the masses of like-minded people will find you and adore you for you.

Life is too short to try to please the masses. What makes you happy should be your only concern. This is what brings out the “you” in your writing. And this is what people are attracted to.

12/18/2006  
Blogger Peter Rost said...

Love to have you back, Moogirl!

Always refreshing.

12/18/2006  
Blogger Moogirl said...

Sorry to be such a stranger, Doc, I got a little sidetracked lately. :>

12/19/2006  

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