Author Archives: maggiem1

News: I’m speaking at BlogPaws!

I’m absolutely thrilled to share that I’ve been selected to speak at the 2015 BlogPaws. I’ve attended the conference a handful of times – only missing one so far – and learned so much.

This year, I’ll be speaking along with Karon Thackston in the advanced track. You can check out all the sessions on the conference page, but our talk is Advanced Strategies for Attracting & Keeping Readers Authentically.

I couldn’t be more excited. Authenticity is one of my passions – living authentically, writing authentically, speaking authentically. My portion of our talk is going to focus on writing strategies to convey your authenticity and, in turn, retain a loyal readership.

I hope to see you there!

OH! And if you haven’t yet registered, here’s a discount code to use at checkout: BP15-Speaker-10off

Book review: My Beloved World

“There are no bystanders in this life…. Our humanity makes us each a part of something greater than ourselves.” — Sonia Sotomayor

I recently finished My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and the third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. I can’t overstate this: Read it. Next. Finish what you’re reading now, then pick this up.

My Beloved World book review

Prior to digging in, I worried that it would be dry, that it would be a picture of her swift rise to the top with nods to adversity here and there. Why? Many books written by people in political power – and, yes, she’s in judicial power, but they’re so similar in DC – fall into that trap. This was nothing like that. At all.

She is open, candid, and humorous. She examines her life experiences with a critical eye, and though I’m sure she held a lot back, it doesn’t feel like she did. The narrative is captivating and surprisingly casual.

The book starts with young Sonia exercising her independence and learning how to administer her own diabetes medication. The text continues chronologically with interspersed passages of self-reflection. She talks about growing up in a household with an alcoholic father and a long-suffering, overworked mother. When her father passes, the story pivots and follows her development, step by step, into the woman she is today.

Well, not today. Ms. Sotomayor chose to end the narration with her first judgeship rather than taking us up until her appointment to the Supreme Court. Hopefully someday she writes that story.

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum doesn’t matter. This isn’t a book about sides. It’s a book about perseverance, hard work, and the importance of a supportive network of friends and family. It’s an inspiring story – half my book is dog-earned – and the kind of honest, authentic tale you imagine hearing a girlfriend tell about herself over a cup of coffee.

It came out in 2013, and my only regret is that I didn’t read it sooner! Definitely give this one a read!

My Beloved World* is available in multiple formats on Amazon.

*That link is my Amazon Affiliates link. If you choose to purchase the book by using that link, it won’t cost you a penny more, but I will earn a teeny tiny commission.

Pinterest portfolios! (Or, why didn’t I think of that?)

Recently – I wish I remember where – I read a suggestion to corral clips into Pinterest boards.

Brilliant!

Why didn’t I think of that?

So, I started two different boards, one for non-pet lifestyle clips and one for all pet lifestyle work. They’re both still a work in progress, but I think this is an exciting way to keep track of completed work!

Check ‘em out!

 
Follow Maggie Marton’s board Lifestyle on Pinterest.

Follow Maggie Marton’s board Pet Writing on Pinterest.

In pursuit of goals

Are you a goal-oriented person? I find that if I don’t have a set of concrete goals to work toward, I get distracted far too easily.

The trick, though, is remembering to hold check-ins pretty regularly to make sure you’re on track and moving forward. This year, I’m trying something new: Sunday night “Meetings with Me.” I’ve scheduled in my planner to meet with myself every Sunday evening for about half an hour to review my goals and determine tasks for the week ahead.

For now, the five goals I’m working on are:

  1. Book proposals. I’ve completed one of three proposals, have outlined the second, and only have the rough idea for the third. My goal is to complete and submit these throughout 2015. This Sunday’s “Meeting with Me” will be all about assigning deadlines for the year.
  2. Create and launch an e-course. Tentatively, I slated this project for Q2, so while I’m not actively chipping away on it, I am brainstorming a bit now and then.
  3. Pitch pet topics to general lifestyle mags.
  4. Focus on health and self-care. This includes juicing daily, drinking tons of water, re-planting a veggie garden, and shopping cruelty-free.
  5. Dogs, dogs, dogs. Of course. This includes walking routines, training, taking classes, and having fun together.

I also have some speaking engagements coming up (yippee!), travel, and teaching writing courses two days a week. All things I love but nothing that requires me to set specific goals with deadline-driven project steps.

What are your goals for 2015? Do you have projects you’re striving to achieve or lifestyle changes you want to make? I’d love to hear what you’re up to and how I can help support your dreams! Tweet me to discuss!

Happy New Year!

I hope your 2015 is off to a wonderful start!

Mine sure is. I love all the freshness, the newness of January 1: a new calendar, a new blog planner, new goals and dreams and aspirations, a new journal, and a renewed commitment to working hard.

At the beginning of the year, I always set a single word as my intention for the year ahead. For 2015, I was torn between “authenticity” and “inspired.” Ultimately, I chose “inspired” because I think being/working/feeling inspired informs authenticity.

I may be the only person to say this, but I’m so ready for the holiday break to be over so I can hit the ground running next week!

How about you? Do you set a word for the year? If so, tweet with me! I’d love to exchange ideas and, of course, inspiration!

New client alert!

I’m so excited to be working with Waggo.com! It’s an absolutely beautiful website filled with must-have pet products. But – even better – I’m working with them on writing home and design content. It’s so much fun to combine pets and home decor, two of my favorite topics.

My first post is live on the site today. Check it out: How to integrate dog design into home design.

I have a bunch more assignments for them in the coming month. So fun!

Here’s what’s in the queue!

Fall is such a busy time for me. Many of my clients – and on my own blog – shift attention to Holiday at the beginning of September!

I’m working on the gift guide for OhMyDog!, a gift guide for another pet client, and the December issue of Pet Age. For a retail client, I’m updating their blog with fresh content to help their clients incorporate well-designed pet products into their homes.

In the lifestyle realm, I’m drafting three articles for a wedding publication, which are always exciting projects and a good way to stretch my creative muscles.

Plus, school started last week, so I have 20 budding writing students who I see twice a week. Love!

Phew! It’s certainly busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Hope your fall is off to a fabulous start!

News: Back to teaching writing!

One month from today, I will step back into the English classroom and help students get over their fear – and hatred – of writing!

I’m thrilled. I loved teaching at community college and was so sad when we moved to Louisiana and I had to let that go. Now that we’re back in Indiana, I’m back to the classroom. I can’t wait! This semester is going to be different from previous semesters, and I’m excited to learn about the changes to the curriculum. I’ll share my experiences as they unfold.

In the meantime, I invite you to revisit: 5 lessons I learned while teaching English.