Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How 2015 Has Changed My Blog...and What's to Come in 2016


If someone were to tell 11th grade me that one day I would actually enjoy writing and have a few pieces published in various outlets as well as running my own blog for fun, I would have given you a real funny look and called you completely delusional.

Fun fact: I somehow found my way into Honors English classes in 10th and 11th grade (despite being a pretty mediocre writer and really loathing classic literature) which meant I was then eligible for AP English my Senior year. I wasn't required to take the AP exam, but my mom made me do it anyway despite me insistently telling her that she would be wasting her money on the exam fee. I was right.

Anyway...

It all started with this blog post about the potential Boston Olympics (which is no longer a thing now, by the way), when Amanda suggested I send it in to Eventing Nation.

So I did.

And they published it.


I think that's when the writing bug really bit me. Not gonna lie, it was really cool to see my name up in EN as an author. 

A few days later, EN asked me to write something for them about the horribleness that was our epic and record-breaking late winter since I was in the thick of it.


Later that summer, I got in touch with EN again and offered to cover my neighborhood USEA event, Groton House Farm, for them if they didn't already have someone reporting on it. They didn't, and welcomed me to write a show recap for them.

With a severe rain storm scheduled to hit on the third day of competition, the GHF show management made an on-the-fly decision to turn the traditional 3-day event into a 2-day event. I watched (and helped! I fence judged that day too) as show management and the volunteers hustled to compress the event in a matter of hours. I knew then that my report for EN would be more than a run-of-the-mill show recap, so in the week after the event I worked to interview people from each perspective - show management, competitor, and volunteer - about the extraordinary efforts that they went through to make the event work. 

The result was an article that I was really proud of and I think did everyone involved with GHF justice. I learned that reaching out to people - some I had never actually met before - wasn't actually scary in the end (though admittedly a tiny bit nerve wracking at first for this introvert) and it makes for a much stronger piece of writing. 


At this point, I was truly hooked on writing. However, some personal conflicts manifested around this same time and my writing on this blog took a hit. I seriously considered scrapping this blog...and I might have it it wasn't for a message I received in this blog's Facebook page inbox.

The publisher of Massachusetts Horse messaged me and wanted to run my story about GHF in her magazine. She also wanted to talk to me about writing for her on a regular basis. My answer, of course, was that I would love to!

I've since been assigned a couple different feature articles for the magazine, both involving interviewing some local horsepeople. I've discovered that I really enjoy tell people's stories. 

From the Oct/Nov issue of Massachusetts Horse

From the Dec/Jan issue of Massachusetts Horse

Additionally, over the summer a neat new event in my area was organized: the Area 1 Schooling Horse Trials Championship. I thought this was such a neat idea, so I got in touch with some of the people involved in running it, pitched the story to EN, and they took it.


After this post went live, I really got a kick out of the positive comments it garnered. A few people even commented that they had similar programs in their areas. This gave me an idea...why not feature these other programs too and spread the love? Fortunately EN was onboard and thus the Schooling Horse Trials Series was born. (So if you want your local organization featured, just shoot me an email!)


All this to say, I've had an interesting 2015 in terms of where my writing has lead me.

I started blogging for two reasons: to hold myself accountable in tracking Maggie's progress and to give myself something productive to do during my daily commute on the train.

I've stuck with blogging because I discovered I really liked it. I like the process of writing - I like that it makes me slow down and think. I like interacting with all the other equestrian bloggers I've come to know - you all are some of the coolest, friendliest, supportive people.

I plan to continue blogging, well, because I still like it and I like you, but I'm also branching out. I am so incredibly grateful to the folks of Eventing Nation and to the publisher of Massachusetts Horse for giving me these opportunities to write for them. They've shown me that I'm capable of something that I never really thought I was. And if they hadn't shown me I was capable, I may never have discovered that this whole writing thing is something that I actually love doing and I may have given up.

So in 2016 I'm expanding. I've already set up hosting and a domain and this blog will be incorporated into a website that will serves as a hub to share not only my Maggie Memoirs blog posts, but also articles from these other avenues.

I'm excited to have more to share with you in 2016! Stay tuned for another post about what exactly I'm setting up, because I need your help with it! (and there will be a contest involved!)

25 comments:

  1. YAY! It's been really fun to watch you grow this year and I'm excited to see where you take it in 2016!

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    1. I should really be thanking you too Kristen - you and the whole Blogging from the Barn group have been so helpful!!

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  2. This is so inspirational! As a fellow blogger I can get a little demoralized sometimes and its great to see a success story :)

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    1. Hang in there! If you love it, it's worth it :) but I totally know how you feel

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  3. Congrats on all of your accomplishments this year! How exciting! Best of luck in 2016!

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  4. This is so awesome. :) I'm glad that I played even the tiniest of role in it. I look forward to seeing where you go in 2016 - and anytime you're in Vermont we'll have to get together!

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    1. Absolutely! If only I can get my act together enough - I miss VT!

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  5. Very cool you've been able to use your blogging as a platform to expand! I hope you get even more opportunities in 2016!

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  6. That's all very exciting! I know what you mean about the introvert part. Good job!

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    1. Haha, yeah - it's not easy, but doable to overcome!

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  7. wow Abigail, what a great year! looking forward to more news in 2016!

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  8. I knew years ago when when we first met when you were working in a barn your love of horses would take you on the journey of your life. You learned young its not what we plan but the opportunities we take that make us who we should be. Ride on my friend at full gallop. SB

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  9. that's so awesome - i've loved seeing your byline pop up on other articles in my feed and get this giddy reaction like 'hey i *know* that person!' - which is weird bc i don't actually know you... lol... but seriously tho, congrats on branching out and discovering your love for writing along the way!!

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    1. Haha - I know exactly what you mean though! I have the same reaction when I see Nicole's name on HJU lol.

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  10. Replies
    1. Hey girl! I was you secret Santa. I just wanted to make sure that Personally Preppy included my note in the present. :)

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    2. Oh hey there!!! THANK YOU!! They didn't include a note (at least not that I could find...) so I'm glad you came forward haha :) Post tomorrow ;)

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    3. Oh nooooo!! I'm glad I said something!! They seemed confused by my please include this note request 😜

      Merry Christmas from Karley, Henry and Grayson!!!

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