It’s time to stop looking backward and concentrate on the year to come. After all, 2017 was the first full year of publication for Bridle & Bone. Even without setting goals I accomplished so much that I can be proud. So imagine what I can do if I actually get organized and set challenges for myself!
As part of January’s Equestrian Blog Hop, hosted on this site, I wanted to really set forth and plan knowing everything I now know. After all, I’m a planner at heart. Of course, the best laid plans can change at any time thus, so let’s call them guidelines or even better, challenges!
Setting the Bar for 2018
Photography and Editing
Last fall I received a new Nikon camera to replace the previously outdated version. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it, even taking it with me in the snow over the winter. I will continue to learn my camera and really customize it for my preferences.
I’ve been fortunate to have found some clients that like my eye and photography, and are willing to pay for sessions for themselves and their animals. So not only will my photography for Bridle & Bone continue to be a focus, but so will my portfolio as I work steadily with clients and write about them on my author and photography website at www.heatherwallace.us.
Boy, do I need to work on this. I joke often that I’m inept at video behind the scenes and in front of the camera!
Behind the Scenes
I have all the tools at my disposal and because of photography, a pretty good idea for detail. However, I never seem to get it right! I either have perfect stabilization but no sound, or perfect sound and alignment but press record at the wrong time (Blooper). Yes, it’s a fact that I often record the ground on accident.
Now this may come as a shock to you but I think I’m horribly awkward on camera. I’ve got a goofy, slightly dorky personality as is which is then compounded by the fact that I feel nervous and won’t stop talking. Like most writers, photographers, and bloggers I feel more comfortable behind the camera.
*Fun fact: I actually was on a television show as a teenager and did some commercial modeling even though I’m a shortie. So why the discomfort? (And no, I will not tell you where so you can go and find it. I’m saving that for the best moment!)
This year I’m going to challenge myself and really focus on video! Wish me luck, I’m going to need it. As part of the Haynet #horsebloggers vlog challenge, I answered 5 questions about myself and my blog. Want to check it out?
Hey did I mention I’m uncomfortable being in front of the camera? Well, if that makes me nervous you can imagine the anxiety public speaking gives. In college I pretended to have a kidney infection to avoid giving an oral exam. Sorry, not sorry. In the publishing world, I increasingly led board meetings and more, so in order to become comfortable at public speaking I went to the zoo.
That’s right, the zoo.
How did the zoo help me become better at speaking in public? I love animals. Period. It’s easier to speak about something which you’re passionate.
Let your passion be greater than your fear- Heather Wallace Click To Tweet
As a docent at the Central Park Zoo I learned to speak publicly through the penguin feedings and sea lion feedings. While scripted, as I became comfortable I would inject a little of my own endearingly awkward personality. Yes that’s my own description. But it did the trick. My paralyzing fear was gone and this helped me overcome the hurdle. While I also get nervous before speaking to a crowd, it is a normal anxiety that I will trip and fall or basically look like an idiot.
Because I like to challenge myself I would like to do more speaking events. As such, I’m pleased to announce I will be presenting a table topic on Blogging to Books at BlogPaws 10th Anniversary Conference in Kansas City April 17th! Make sure to buy your tickets now and don’t miss out. It’s going to be a very special conference this year.
While I successfully published my first book, Equestrian Handbook of Excuses, last year I have a memoir coming out this year, entitled “Confessions of a Timid Rider”. This year I will focus on completing the edits and promoting this in advance of publication. While the book uses my personal experiences with horses as a metaphor, it is the perfect book for anyone who has ever been afraid to fail but determined to succeed.
If you are interested in a being a beta reader, please reach out by email to firstname.lastname@example.org as I will be seeking those in the next few months. Want to receive updates about the book release? Subscribe to my author site.
I also have quite a few other topics related to pet health and wellness and some more in the Handbook of Excuses series that I will be turning to when Confessions is completed. No rest for the wicked!
Sponsorship and Brands
Last year I limited the number of brands I worked with through the blog. It was my first year, my knowledge base was limited as were my numbers and this gave me pause. In addition, I’m highly selective as what brands best compliment our holistic view of health toward horses and dogs.
Last year I focused more of dog brands because I did not have a horse of my own. This began to change toward the end of the year with a focus on equestrian brands. Now with the awesome new addition to our family, Ferrous, I can pitch equally to both canine and equine brands that I am interested in reviewing.
I would love to expand and work with more companies this year. While I’m a small business owner myself for a holistic health and wellness company, Bridle & Bone Wellness, I’m open to a sponsorship by another brand that shares the same goals I do.
This is the year of stepping outside of my comfort zone! Is the theme obvious yet? Last year I attended my first pet blogging and social media conference, which I wrote about on the blog in Breaking Through My Fears and Conquering My First BlogPaws Conference. It was a great success! I made some amazing contacts with bloggers, influencers, and brands around the world. Of course, I will be attending again this year.
In addition, I will be attending the American Horse Publications annual conference in Hunt Valley Maryland. This is a wonderful organization of individual members and publishers in equine media. Through them I attended the Equus Film Festival, wrote for Equine Info Exchange and Holistic Horse Magazine, and more. I’m looking forward to what the conference will bring!
Last, but definitely not least I am a proud new horse owner! While I have a lot of goals for Bridle & Bone this year, my personal goal is to be an amazing horse owner. I intend on building a positive relationship with Ferrous, building his topline, and improving my equitation and confidence as a rider.
Of course I’ll write, photography, and video it all so make sure to subscribe and follow along!