Author Archives: maggiem1

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.

Dear Freelancers, Stop writing on spec. Please.

I had a disappointing experience recently.

Long story short, an editor asked if I’d be interested in writing for them and, by the way, their rate is x. I said sure. I asked if he had assignments lined up or needed pitches. Pitches. So, I pitched. We went back and forth and ultimately decided on two stories. Then, the assistant editor emailed to say… write and submit them both, they’ll see what works, and pay me for/if they want one of the stories.

Nope.

I imagine that same assistant editor would balk at the prospect of doing her job all day, showing her boss what she accomplished at the end of the eight hours, and then getting paid for only the work he deemed usable. Eight hours behind a desk, say, but only two hours of work passed muster. No way would anyone agree to that.

Or imagine your dentist agreeing to clean your teeth, but you’re only going to pay him for the teeth that YOU think are cleaned well. What dentist in his right mind would agree to such an arrangement?

And, yet, that is exactly what they were asking me to do.

The problem? (I mean, other than the obvious…)

MANY freelancers take on this type of “on spec” work. It’s undercutting and undermining those of us who make our living at this. I pride myself in putting time and effort into every story I write. That includes background research, telephone calls, rough drafts, and editing. I’m unwilling and unable to commit that time to something I might – or might not – get paid for.

I’m also unwilling and unable to turn in shoddy work on the off change that I might – or might not – get paid for it.

Dear freelancers, please stop writing on spec.

You, your time, and your talent are worth so much more than that maybe/if scenario.

Here’s what I’ve been working on

Whew! How is it the second half of 2014 already? Doesn’t January seem like yesterday? But also so long ago when I look at completed projects for the year!

I can’t wait to see where the rest of 2014 takes me!

In the meantime, I’ve been working with two corporate clients – one on sprucing up the copy on an outdated website, and another on some engagement strategies for social channels. Seriously fun stuff!

I’ve also been working on fun projects for my favorite pet industry mag, Pet Age. Natural lifestyle topics are near and dear to my heart, and I was honored to write the entire Natural Supplement for them. Check out the digital version here.

I’m also taking the first coaching course I’ve ever joined – and loving it. I will share insights from the course as it unfolds.

Finally, I started moving many of my clips over to Pinterest. I love how visual and interactive that platform is for showcasing a portfolio. You can find my lifestyle writing and pet writing there!

As we prepare to move from Louisiana back to our home in Indiana, I’ll be taking some time off – all of next week, actually! But I’ll be ready to hit the ground running from our new (old) digs in beautiful Bloomington. Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead!