If you read this blog even remotely regularly, you haven’t had much new to read recently. It probably looks like I haven’t been writing at all–but I have. Just not here. Until now. Today. Finally. I’m so happy to be back–and to tell you of my recent writing adventures, which are the reason I have been so absent from Mind the Dog over the last few weeks.
Just over a year ago, I was reading The Path by Laurie Beth Jones, trying to figure out my life’s purpose and what steps I needed to take to achieve it. After completing several engaging exercises, including drawing a rather inartistic rendition of a shield meant to portray my four “most cherished talents” (my stick-figure quality drawings represented nature, writing, running, and time management), I had come up with this version of a mission statement:
My mission is to:
write, remember, and nurture
I remember sitting on an airplane, flying home from a brief trip to California, puzzling over this mission statement, my book resting on the gray, little seat-back tray in front of me. A few pages beyond the page where I had filled in the blanks of my mission statement, I underlined this sentence in the book:
“Make sure all your activities can flow from and relate back to your mission.”
That just didn’t seem possible with this particular mission. How could all my activities support my desire to remember, nurture, and write about my love for animals? How could all my activities stem from that or relate back to that? I puzzled over it, told a friend about it, puzzled over it some more, and then put the book on a stack of other books on my dresser and kept living the way I had been living for the last decade.
But over the last few weeks, something happened–something that allows me to get one step closer to this organically crafted mission statement. I found out about a company called Owl Mountain Products and their website, ScoutKnows.com. And I found out they were looking for writers. I went through the application process, which included first writing an e-mail explaining why I was a good (the perfect!) fit for the role, and second, if my e-mail succeeded in getting their attention (it did!), in writing a test assignment. It was a challenging and rather depressing subject, and at one point, when I was feeling a bit down, my husband said to me, “Just think, babe. If they publish that article, the person reading it will be someone who really needs that information. You’ll be helping someone out a lot.” He was right. I would be helping someone–and that someone’s dog. Potentially lots of someones and their dogs. Reinvigorated with purpose, I finished the test assignment, learned a lot in the process, and ultimately, became (one of) the newest members of the ScoutKnows writing team. I really don’t think I could be any more excited about it. It perfectly combines my love of dogs with my love of writing, and I can hardly wait to get my first writing assignments for the site.
In addition to this exciting news, I’ve been working on various articles via a platform called Contently. The site allows writers to create a portfolio and potentially find freelance jobs writing for various companies and publications. I also achieved a writing contract with Mother Earth News for an article due in September, projected to run in the winter of 2018.
All this freelancing has left me very little time for blogging–but I’m not complaining, honestly. I’m thrilled!