Category Archives: Odds & Ends

Multi-Talented Writers Website Coming Soon!

Things have been a little quiet on this blog for a while. That’s because I’ve been working on a really exciting project for writers who prefer not to pick a niche. For those of us who are multi-talented, multipotentialites, scanners, or renaissance souls, choosing just one thing simply doesn’t work. Unfortunately, everyone and their aunt is trying to convince beginning writers that they must pick a niche or risk failure in their writing business. This is simply not true. As a multi-niche writer myself, I know that writing in various niches and formats isn’t only possible, it’s fun, and it pays.

I’ve been working hard the last few months, learning even more about WordPress, discussion forums, multi-author blogs, and more, to bring you one of my largest projects yet: the Multi-Talented Writers website.

The website has a discussion forum for sharing ideas and asking questions, a blog to give you tips about creating your dream multi-niche writing business, and more. Just for signing up for the mailing list, you’ll receive a FREE guide to help you use one of the best tools for the Multi-Talented: mind maps.

Sign up for the mailing list here for weekly tips and to get your FREE Mind Maps for Freelance Writing Success guide as soon as it’s ready.

Please note that all blog posts in the “For Writers” section of marianamcdougall.com will be moved to multitalentedwriters.com. There’ll also be plenty of other blog posts to give you tips on all aspects of being a professional writer.

My Mess Threshold: When Chaos Makes You Anxious

Chaos can make you anxious – even if you’re someone who’s used to chaos.

Creative people tend to have a reputation for being messy and disorganized. Until very recently, I didn’t fit the mold for that stereotype. I used to be a hyper-organized person. I even spent 7 years as a military clerk. You can’t get much more organized than a military administrative professional. But having children changed everything. It’s much harder to be organized when there’s several people in a household and where there are a million things that all have to get done at once. I went from hyper-organized to hyper-messy. And, because I’m brave (or stupid), I’ve decided to let you in on my dirty little secret: I’m a messy person. And I’m even going to let you in on how messy I’ve really become. Despite my attempts to have my most organized year ever, my house currently looks like this:

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Asthma-friendly household and personal products

For asthma sufferers, discovering triggers can not only be a way to ensure more comfort, but can also be a life-saving measure. Many asthma sufferers are sensitive to substances that can trigger an attack. For me, that substance is perfume. Although I do not react to every scent, I do react to many. In addition to a potential asthma attack, perfume also triggers pretty severe post-nasal drip for me as well. Although this isn’t life threatening, it’s extremely uncomfortable.

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Universal Letter Writing Week Challenge

 

I saw this comic strip a long time ago, and I laughed out loud, because it’s so relatable:

I think this comic strip describes reality pretty well, at least for me. I get so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of email I receive in a day. It’s nuts, and a lot of it I don’t even want to read (or have time to read). But when I receive a handwritten letter in the mail, I can’t wait to make time in my schedule to read it. Receiving a handwritten letter is such a wonderful feeling. I think it’s because we know how busy everyone has gotten, so we feel special knowing that someone took the time to sit down and write us a special note.

Maybe that feeling is the reason that Universal Letter Writing Week started. Whatever the reason, I think focusing on handwriting letters for a whole week is a wonderful idea. I also love a challenge. So here goes: for Universal Letter Writing Week on January 8th to the 14th, I challenge you to write one handwritten letter every single day. If you can mail it to a loved one, even better. Here are some ideas about who to write:

Write to an old friend with whom you’ve lost contact – see if you can find their contact information online, and let them know you’d love to re-connect.

Write a letter to your mom and/or dad just to tell them you’re thinking of them.

Write a letter to your best friend.

Write a love letter to your partner.

Write a special note to your children.

There are so many options here. The point is to sit down and take a little time out of your day to let someone else know that they’re special to you. To revive the art of handwriting, and to have a little fun.

What will you write about, and who will you write this week?

Great Christmas Gifts for the Writers on Your List

This year, I’m on top of things. I had all my Christmas gifts purchased before December hit. I finished my handmade stocking gifts well before Christmas eve. But of course, in typical Mariana fashion, I can’t remember where I put one of the gifts, and chances are, I’ll still be scrambling to get ready for Christmas Eve, even though I had planned everything well ahead of time.

If, like me, you’re not always on top of things (even when you think you are), you might still have some gifts left to buy. Do you have a writer on your gift list? Or someone who would love to pursue their writing more seriously? Here are some ideas that’ll make their faces light up. The best part? You could buy some of these on Christmas Day, and
they’d still get to enjoy them on the same day (ah, the joy of membership communities).

Here are some awesome gift for writers.

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Niche for Success? Nah.

Since I was 15, I’ve always had all kinds of stuff on the go – all at the same time. I worked full time hours while going to high school full time (and still managed to participate in two extra-curriculars per year, while writing poetry, too. I worked two jobs all through my university years, had a blast swing dancing with friends every week, and still managed to graduate on the Dean’s Honours List with a dual degree. After university, I worked three jobs while continuing my swing dancing outings and still managing to hang out with my husband. Then I had kids. Now I homeschool, parent (and waste time with my kids), play sports for fun and hang out with friends, and I have a writing business on the side (which is doing pretty well, considering how little time I spend on it). Whenever I slow down, it’s usually because someone tells me to do so. And I’m never happy when I listen to that advice.

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