PAW5: I love writing blog posts about enriching your dogs’ lives. It’s a true passion for me!
Pet Age: I recently wrote this story about anxiety products for dogs, which was eye-opening for me and my training with Cooper. We started him on one of the products I learned about for the story, CBD treats from Austin and Kat.
Unfortunately, my own pet blog has been one of the biggest cuts. But, this is just a season. And, it’s funny, but it sort of has helped to write far less on my blog. For a while, I felt burnout setting in, and now I’m giving myself time to think and brainstorm. Big ideas are percolating! I’m sure they’ll all bubble to the surface when the time is right.
I’d love to see what you’re working on! Fellow writers, tweet me @maggiemarton with your current projects so that I can read and share!
It’s been a bonkers 2016 so far! (I feel like I say that about every year…)
I took on the role of Senior Editor at BlogPaws at the end of 2015, and it’s been a whirlwind of activity since. I’m proud of all that’s been accomplished on the BlogPaws blog and would love for you to go check it out.
I’ve also contributed two columns each month to Pet Age Magazine. It’s such a pleasure to work with leading pet industry manufacturers and media pros on a monthly basis. I learn so much with every story I write. Check out some of my recent work.
It’s been a travel-heavy year, too. It started with the BlogPaws team summit in Phoenix earlier this year, followed by Global Pet Expo in Orlando, and my trip to Best Friends in May. BlogPaws is around the corner, in Phoenix at the end of June. That’s followed by SuperZoo in Last Vegas and a girlfriends’ trip to Vancouver at the end of August. Whew!
I took on a bunch of other little side projects, too, like contributing blog posts to PAW5 each month. I love that gig because they’re an eco-friendly brand that’s all about enriching our pets’ lives. How great is that?
Lastly, I’ve been chipping away at OMD. To be honest, I’ve struggled to keep up with it, not just because of all the work stuff, but because it’s hard to find our herd’s new voice after we lost Lucas. Everything changed, and it’s just taken me time to wrap my head around it and find this new voice. But, it’s coming.
So, that’s where I’ve been! How about you? Connect with me on Twitter so we can compare project notes!
I’ve attended all but one of the annual BlogPaws conferences (darn chemo ruined my perfect record), and this year’s was a remarkable experience. They’re all wonderful, of course, but this was the first year I got to speak.
That’s me. Speaking.
I need a haircut.
Anyway, it was an absolute pleasure to chat about authenticity in blogging.
I truly believe that the key to long-term success is being completely, wholly true to YOU with your blog.
In a cluttered online environment, discerning readers can pick out who’s being honest and forthright versus those bloggers who are just shilling. That isn’t to say you can’t earn money on your blog; you can and absolutely should–as long as you’re doing it authentically. If fact, being authentic increases your earning potential.
The New York Times obituary of Joseph Mitchell heralded his work writing about average and eccentric folks, which he did well… until he didn’t. According to the obit:
If his name is not as widely known as it might have been, that is mostly because for the last three decades of his life, he wrote nary a word that anybody got to see. For years, he would show up at his tiny office at The New Yorker every day and assure his colleagues that he was working on something, but that it was not quite ready…. Whatever it was, nothing of any substance emerged from his typewriter after 1965 and his friends came to think of it as an exceptionally bad case of writer’s block.
The piece goes on to say that his editor suspected that he was plagued by perfectionism. After all, the janitor at The New Yorker cleaned reams of copy out of his wastepaper bin.
It’s tragic, really. If you haven’t read Up in the Old Hotel, do. It’s a carefully-curated collection of his work profiling unexpected characters. Mitchell sucks you in, grabs hold, and doesn’t let go until the last page.
So, what happened? Was it the infamous “writer’s block” that did him in?
I think writer’s block is a construct–a concept invented to allow talented writers an excuse for not finishing the work. Feeling stuck and stressed and overwhelmed and unmotivated occurs naturally in any creative profession. The fear of failing, of being ridiculed, of pouring your heart, soul, time, and talent into something that might be torn apart? Well, it’s enough to drive anyone crazy.
Crazy enough, perhaps, to stop writing altogether.
I’m guilty of this. I have a big project, a personal one rather than a client project, that I’ve backburnered time and time (and time and time) again. My reason excuse could easily be, “Oh, man. I’m just blocked on this one.” But I know that’s not the case. I know that this is a personal project, and it means a lot to me. I know that, by writing, I risk criticism, ridicule, and burning at the stake.
Okay. Maybe not. Definitely not. But it feels like that, so I don’t write.
So, what does a writer do to overcome this? Well, first off, stop calling it “writer’s block” because you’re letting yourself off the hook.
Then, set yourself a good, solid goal. Note that I didn’t say a big, lofty goal. Just a good, solid one. Like, tell yourself you’re going to write 250 words toward your project each day. That’s not much–one page, double-spaced. You can do it. Heck, you could probably do more, but that’s not your goal. Stick with 250. Hit that word count, then save and close your document.
Do it again the next day and the next day and the next. Before you know it, your project will be up and running, sprinting toward the finish line.
Don’t let yourself claim a case of “writer’s block.” Do the work. Keep at it.
As for Joseph Mitchell, who knows, but we all would’ve been better off to have had more of his work–imperfect as it may have been.
I love this time of year. Flowers are blooming. The days are longer. The mosquitoes aren’t yet the size of finches. Ah, spring!
Since it’s the start of the second quarter, it’s also time for us small-business folks to reevaluate our goals and direction for the upcoming months. Did we accomplish what we wanted to in Q1? Where do we want to go in Q2?
I’m excited to take on a second assignment with Pet Age, adding a Groom&Board article on top of my Products&Trends piece. I adore this magazine and the staff, and I’m thrilled to tackle more assignments.
I’m also contributing more to Victoria Stilwell’s Positively.com blog, which I love because I get to talk positive training in a brand new venue.
There’s a ton of stuff going on the blog these days, too, including the newsletter.
And a few more details-to-come projects that are all about pets, crafts, and building a super strong bond with our dogs and cats.
I’m LOVING that so much pet writing work is piling up because it’s what I’m most passionate about!
Here’s to finding work that fuels your passion! Happy spring!
I’m lucky. I work with the best people around. My editors and clients are all incredible people who achieve amazing things, and I’m honored to play a small part in their work. Here are a few things I’ve been working on lately with these wonderful people:
Newsletters and web content: I’m challenged to work on an exciting communications strategy with a consulting company that links stateside businesses with overseas partners. It’s been a fun consulting gig, and I’m thrilled I get to work with women leaders on this one.
Pet retail trends: I adore Pet Age Magazine and my editor, Michelle. This is one of the most fun articles I get to write every month. If you’re not familiar with the magazine, go check it out! My latest article is live on the digital edition of the magazine.
Pet products: Oh, how I love finding new and exciting pet products. Every month, I dig up a few new products or roundup where to buy the best pet products in stores for Shoptopia. Such fun! Check it out here.
Book reviews: Whooo, boy. My “to-read” pile has grown enormous, which makes me so happy! I have a couple flights coming up, so I plan to power through my stack while traveling. I have reviews slated to appear here, on OhMyDog!, and on Goodreads.
I’m also waiting on the ink to dry on a couple new, exciting projects, which I’ll announce as soon as I can.
What are you working on these days? I hope your work plate is piled high with fun projects!