• creative life

    The Perfection Paradox

    I recently listened to a motivating, inspiring podcast where the guest shared this advice: Be OK with B- work. B MINUS. That stopped me in my tracks. I’m not a B- person. I suspect you’re not either. We strive for that A every time, right? After my initial shock wore off, I thought it through. What does B- work look like? Well, it’s a passing grade. It’s not perfect, but it’s not a failure either. And, I think more importantly to her point, it’s done. Taking that a step further, it’s done in a reasonable amount of time. That’s the thing with striving for that A every single time: Sometimes the…

  • work life

    What I’m Working On…

    Have I ever mentioned how much I love my work? I write about pets! For a living! I couldn’t love a job more! So, what have I been working on? A colleague and I are writing a book to help other pet writers. This project is a deep passion and something we’ve wanted to tackle for ages. I am more excited about this book project than just about anything else on my plate. I can’t wait to share more when I can! Beyond that, I’m striving to launch two new blogs: Bark is the New Black, which is a lifestyle destination for every kind of mama, and The Zero-Waste Pet,…

  • creative life

    Does grammar matter anymore? Does it matter online?

    Yes. Of course, grammar matters online. Why? As a self-professed grammar nerd, I say that not only because I adore the structure of grammar (I desperately need creative constraints when I’m writing, and the rules of grammar provide that… but that’s another post for another day) but because grammar helps your readers, well, read. I’m not one to advocate strict adherence to every fussy rule in the style book. Voice matters, and sometimes your voice requires you to know the rules and then let ’em go. <— see that ’em there? Letting a rule go, yo! However, your readers need to understand the intent of your work. You need to convey…

  • miscellaneous

    My Current TBR Pile

    My TBR (to be read) pile towers over the reading lamp on my bedside table. I always want to read more than there is time in the day. That said, I keep growing the pile, while reading a bit before bed every single night. What’s on my current TBR pile? Well, here goes, and I’m breaking it into categories because I’m reading “for” a variety of different things: For The Great American Read Wuthering Heights I loved this in high school and am excited to reread it for this challenge. (And, OMG, it’s so cheap for an incredible read!) 1984 This one’s on my Kindle, and I’m honestly not excited…

  • work life

    There’s No Such Thing as Passive Income

    Well, technically there is… but NOT how it’s defined by online salespeople.  What is passive income? From BusinessDictonary.com: “Earnings from rent, limited partnership, or other sources of income (in which the earner does not take an active part), not including salary, wage, interest, or capital gain. Also called unearned income, passive income can be written off against passive losses.” There is a section of the U.S. tax code dedicated to passive income as it’s defined above. It’s this. In other words: Passive income IS NOT ebooks, info products, webinars, courses, downloads, workbooks, etc. that sell “in your sleep.” That isn’t passive income. See the official definition above, whereby the earner does…

  • work life

    Blogging Is Dead… and Other Myths

    How often do you hear it lamented, “Blogging is dead”? Just yesterday someone said that to me on a call, ironically, about her business blog. I’ve said this before, and I know I’ll say it a million times more, but just because you don’t like or understand something doesn’t mean you can bury it. And it isn’t just blogging that’s regularly declared dead. Let’s take a look at three of the most pervasive: blogging, Facebook, and reading.   Fiction: Blogs are dead. Fact: Blogs are thriving. In fact, by declaring blogging’s death, you’re likely hurting your business because this form of publication provides many benefits that you can’t accomplish in…

  • work life

    How to deal with criticism online

    Fact: Everyone online has an opinion about everything. Some of those folks are able to express their opinions in clear, constructive, kind ways. They’re able to have robust discussions with friends on social or in the comments section, and they understand that many issues have many sides so it’s easy to stay respectful of others since we’re all so different from one another. Then there’s everyone else. Seriously, though, trolls make up a small group. They’re just so LOUD. And they’re usually pretty good at isolating a personal issue and attacking, which can feel crushing… and raise our hackles.   Instead of fighting back, here are a handful of productive…

  • work life

    3 Things to Check on Your Blog ASAP

    While you focus on creating fresh, new, engaging content for your readers, chances are a few spots on your blog are gathering dust. It happens: You want to keep your blog fresh, of course, but that makes it easy to “set it and forget it” with your blog’s static pages.   Ask yourself a handful of Qs about your blog’s static spots: When was the list time you revisited your about page? Is your privacy policy up to date? Has anything changed with your email, social profiles, or affiliate programs? Is your headshot current? (Current = last 5 years NOT that awesome snap of you looking tan that one summer…