Living the Writer's Life: Ann Jamieson
Can you tell me a little about your life before copywriting and what led you to get started?
Well, I’ve been a horse show judge for about 30 years now. I was an English major and English with journalism as a minor. When I got out of college, I pitched a horse magazine, and I ended up with my first article.
Then a friend of mine, she started up a client publication. So I was doing articles for them. And then I was also selling ads for them. It actually went on for about 12 years.
I started looking for other things and did a column for a local hay business. I rewrote his entire website, and I actually got it up to the first page in Google. Then I started writing articles, blog posts, and everything for him, and I had a lot of success.
I wanted to do more, and I had been getting a lot of advice from AWAI. I just decided, I like doing this. I’ve got a lot of knowledge in the equine industry and also travel, and I’m very much into alternative health. Plus, it pays a lot better than magazine articles.
What do you love so much about the equestrian and travel niches?
I just have so much passion for it, and so much knowledge about it too. I’ve been involved in it for a long time. Since I was 5 years old, I’ve been just obsessed with horses. I live and breathe it.
And then the same with travel. I’m completely addicted to travel. I feel fully alive when I’m traveling. I just love meeting people from different countries and seeing different cultures and the history.
Right now, I’m studying different programs from AWAI. I’m very excited about doing newsletters, because that’s predictable income, which obviously is a good thing.
But I want to do it for horse veterinarians and then small-animals vets, too. And since I love alternative health, I’m going to approach homeopathic positions and chiropractors. I’m turning my passions into what I write about.
What is your go-to strategy for staying productive when you’re working?
Riding. Whenever I get stuck, I’m just like, “Okay, time to go to the barn.” By the time I’m driving home, I’ve got all new ideas and I can’t wait to get back into writing.
What’s your favorite thing about your writer’s life?
I have been able to do so much travel through my writing. I’ve been able to indulge in a passion that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to afford because I can barter the writing. That’s how I get trips. I contact the tour operator and I say, “I can get you into horse magazines if you let me come on this tour.” And I’ve gone to all kinds of amazing places because of that.
That sounds incredible! How did you get started with travel writing?
One of my friends ran a horse tour company in Turkey. He needed more publicity in this country so that he could get tourists from the USA. He knew I wrote for an equine magazine. So he said, “Do you think you could do something firsthand?” And he added, “We could give you a free tour.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I’m all in.”
So I got two assignments from two different magazines. It’s just absolutely fascinating. It’s like literally a dream came true for me through doing that.
Do you have any advice for new writers who are just getting started?
I would recommend that anyone pursue a passion they have, because if you follow your passion, you’re really never going to work.
Then, people you know are an excellent source to get started. Just break down a list of all your contacts and look at what kind of business they have and talk to them.
Can you tell me a little about your horse?
His name is Fred Astaire. And the reason his name is Fred Astaire is that he’s a beautiful mover.
Ann's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.
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