Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Did It!

In February of this year I started blogging to, among other things, get into the swing of writing again. I had been writing for many, many years about cats, cat breeding, genetics, cattery management etc and my articles have been published in many countries all over the world. I also wrote a book about the Russian Blue cats: The Russian Blue (sold out). But then my back trouble started and I was unable to write for a long time until February of this year when I started to blog about my garden and, not surprisingly, about my cats too.
August checking out the reading material after his basket inspection.

Shortly after I started blogging, I began writing articles again but this time not about cats but gardening. Writing has always been something that I enjoyed doing and I needed a new career now that my bad back did not allow me to continue with my previous one. So why not try to make money with writing articles?

I send my articles to several magazines and heard zip back from them. Bummer! But it is to be expected as the same thing has happened to many aspiring writers, even to the likes of Agatha Christie and J.K. Rowlings in their time. I guess the publishers who refused them are still pulling out their hair. ;-)

Then, quite unexpectedly, my blog won a Mousie for Best International Garden Blog of 2007. Hurray!!! And one of the reasons it had won, was that many people liked the way I write. I was very happy when I read that.
Delia being totally underwhelmed with the Mouse&Trowel award.

This happy Mousie event was even published in the local rag as it's not every day that a blog wins an award like that. Look Ma, I'm famous! ;-)

Flushed with success - not really, but I did think if so many fellow garden bloggers like my writing I must be doing something right, so let's give it another try- and I decided to send a few more articles to some magazines again, this time with the news that my garden blog had won the prestigious (grin) Mouse&Trowel Award for Best International Garden Blog for 2007 (make hay etc). And guess what? Result! I was contacted by one the Dutch gardening magazines, Tuin&Co (=Garden&Co).
As they liked my writing style too, they wanted to meet up with me and discuss what I could write for them. So that's what we did and here's the result that was published only a few days ago.
That's how much fun a garden club is!

It's an article about my garden club that I founded a few years ago. I had just moved house and didn't know a soul so I started my own garden club, as you do.;-) It was easy peasy, really. I just wrote a letter on my PC about wanting to start a garden club, copied that letter 200 times and then put on my walking shoes. I walked around my village and everywhere I saw a nice front garden I popped a copy of my letter in their letterbox. It stands to reason that when people have a nice front garden, they enjoy gardening, right?
We understand each other exactly.

And many people responded to my letter and as a result we now have a fun garden club. It's great to be able to talk with fellow enthusiasts about gardening, to share your garden experiences, your knowledge, the joy of gardening, the successes and failures etc. And it's also a great way to swap seeds, cuttings and plants too. We visit each others gardens but also open gardens, garden fairs, nurseries etc. which is great fun.
Several members of my garden club at the arboretum in Kalmthout, Belgium

I can highly recommend the above method as a great way for meeting up with other gardeners in your neighbourhood. After all, we don't all live in Austin ( the garden blogging capital of the world), Texas. ;-)
copyright: Y.E.W. Heuzen.2007

49 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Way to go Yolanda! Congratulations.
Getting this article published will hopefully bring more publications to you seeking articles. I certainly like your style of writing. I look forward to each and every one of your blog entries. Hopefully some of the US publishers will pick up on your skills. After all look what happened to Marjolein Bastin.

Brimstone said...

Gefeliciteerd met je eerste tuinpublicatie!!

Staan je artikelen over kattenfokken ergens online? Ik ben erg geinteresseerd in genetica en je opvatingen over fokmethoden. Ben zelf ook fokster geweest van Beagles.

Carol said...

Well done, Yolanda Elizabet. And what is also amazing is that you write in English as well as Dutch. Keep up the good work!

gintoino said...

Congratulations yolanda! Your blog is certainly one of my favourites. I like your writing, but also your pictures.

Ruth Welter said...

Ow Yolanda, that is so awesome...many many congratulation to you for your well earned success. I'm sure there is much more to come in the future as well.

kate said...

Congratulations! That is really exciting. Your writing is always a treat to read. And good for you for taking the initiative to start a garden club!

jodi said...

Oh, good show, Yolanda! I just assumed that you always wrote professionally about gardening.

Now, here's a recommendation from an ol' hand at writing about gardening; don't limit yourself to just writing in your first language. I'd pitch to American, British, and other countries (maybe not Canada because the two magazines here are stunningly mediocre most of the time--I never pitch to them!) and other countries where you speak the language (I seem to remember you are multilingual).

Why do this? Because you not only have a wealth of experience about gardening in your own yard and country, you travel a lot, and besides that, you write exquisitely well! So I hope you'll look further afield as well as in the Netherlands.

And start planning your own book!

cheers, jodi

Andrea's Garden said...

Way to go, Yolanda!! Congratulations. I am very happy to you and more than deserve being published. Take good care! Andrea

Jen Fu said...

Yolanda, your story is so inspiring. I'm so glad you've had this success.

Ki said...

Congratulations having your article published in the garden magazine. And I hope you have fun with your new garden mates too.

Matron said...

Congratulations from one published writer to another! Last week my blog was reviewed in a national newspaper 'The Guardian'. Buddy even got his name mentioned, I think the fame is going to his head!

Kylee said...

Well done!!! And to think, I knew you "when." ;-) I'm glad they came to their senses, because now even more people will get to enjoy your talents!

Tracy said...

Congratulaions on one year here--looking forward to many more! And wonderful news about the article--very exciting! Happy weekend to you ((HUGS))

Pam/Digging @ www.penick.net/digging said...

Congratulations on the article, YE. I'll expect to see your work in US magazines soon too. :-)

You were clever to mention your Mousie as a way of getting your foot in the door at the magazine. It's nice to know that the award may have some clout with the print world. Fellow Austinite Tom Spencer and I didn't get any print publicity here in Austin for our Mousies, but then again ours is a bigger city. I'm glad your blog is getting such deserved recognition in your hometown.

And by the way, as one of the Austin garden bloggers, I say more power to you in forming garden groups wherever you live. Aren't they fun?

Pam/Digging
http://www.penick.net/digging

Anonymous said...

Na het lezen van T&C ben ik naar je site geklikt om je (met bedekte termen) te feliciteren met het artikel.....staat het op je blog!!! Dus kan ik je nu 'openlijk' van harte feliciteren met je publicatie :-) Een leuk initiatief om zo een tuinclub te starten en mocht ik ooit naar een vreemde omgeving verhuizen dan lijkt mij dit een goed plan. Wel jammer dat ik niet in buurt woon...;-((
Leuk om ook je foto te zien ;-)

Anonymous said...

Het vorige comment was dus van mij.
Groetjes, Marl1

guild_rez said...

Yolanda that is terrific. Congratulations..
Keep up your good work..
Love to see more from your garden and of course the cats.
One kitten looks like Maxi..
Thank you for leaving your comments on my blog. Yes, traditions are very important part in our lives, we have to pass them on...
Wish you a very special Christmas season,
Gisela

Connie said...

Congratulations, Yolanda! I am so happy for your success. You have an easy going style of writing that is a pleasure to read.
A garden club sounds like such fun! Are you in that photo?

A wildlife gardener said...

Well I'm so happy to read of your success, Yolanda!

...And I'm not surprised a bit :)

lisa said...

Congratulations Yolanda! I really enjoy your writing, so I'm not surprised! I agree with Jodi-time to read your work in US mags as well!

Ewa said...

yolanda,
it was great encouraging posts I read all together. Gardening clubs is a great idea - I think I will try that out.
Reading your meme was very heart warming - knowing lil more of you. I felt sorry for your operation but also inspired great by your writing.
That made me remember that our future is in our hands and we have the awsome power untill our brain still works.
Greetings,

Tim said...

The picture of your cat with the award is priceless! I just posted a picture of our cat, Dusty, on our gabriola garden blog, where you can read all about our adventures gardening off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.

Sara grows the flowers and I the vegetables and we feed our plants 100% organic plant food. Our beefsteak tomatoes are the largest, juiciest, tastiest ones we've ever seen!

Congratulations on your success! Will you also write for English language gardening publications?

Tim, Sara, and the kids

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Congratulations on getting published again. I'd love for you to do a book on everything about your garden with lots of pictures. I'd gladly buy it. You have so much to offer in the way of kitchen gardens, design, year round flower arranging, and are an interesting and entertaining writer to boot, like I said, so much to offer.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

Congratulations! Success breeds success doesn't it? I'm glad the print media realized that you are an inspiring garden writer and decided to publish you.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens

ujosiili said...

That's so great! Congratulations! This is my first time commenting your blog and I just wanted to tell, that I've enjoyed a lot your stories and pics of your garden and cats.

Libbys Blog said...

Many congratulations Yolanda. You and your blog have helped me look at my garden through 'fresh eyes'. I now think carefully about where and what I will plant.
We had a bad veg growing year and I'm still not convinced it is working in my garden, but I will plod on a bit longer.
Many thanks for your inspiration, keep it up!

Hannele said...

Interesting.

marga said...

Hee....Yolande....had ik het toch goed dat jij dat was. Vond het een heel leuk artikel en wat een leuke manier om een tuinclubje te starten. Gefeliciteerd met je artikel.....kunnen we nou vaker iets van jou hand zien verschijnen in de tuin&co?

rusty in miami said...

Congratulations Yolanda, you deserve it, and I agree you are great writer. Your idea about starting a gardening club is good one. I might try it in my neighborhood.

No Rain said...

Persistence pays off! Congratulations on your writing triumphs, and the Garden Blogger Award. Sometimes it takes something like that to attract the attention of editors.
I sort of knew you liked cats--mostly because of the photos. I had no idea you had written books about them.
Cheers,
Aiyana

Chookie said...

Wow, Yolanda, Congratulations on the award and the published articles! But I must take issue with the idea that the nice front garden people are the only gardening fiends! Mine isn't very nice (full of grass), but I've been focussing on other parts of my garden. Best wishes with your writing.

Karin A said...

Congratulations to your new career and the publishing. :) I'm not surpriced because I really do like your way of writing. I would like to joing a garden club some day, it sounds like much fun. Have a nice sunday!

vierkatjes/lavendeltuin said...

Aha, ik heb het door,
jij hebt 48 uur in een dag, dat kan niet anders!
Gefeliciteerd met dit succes, hartstikke leuk,
een goed idee trouwens om kontakten te leggen in een nieuwe woonplaats.
O, en nog gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag, boeken gekregen?
Het is nu prima weer om te lezen. . .

Julia said...

Congratulations Yolanda! I love your blog but must say I was shocked to read about your debilitating chronic pain with your back. I am dealing with my own chronic (upper) back pain and always thought that a garden like yours could only be the product of a pain-free gardener. Very inspirational. I hope you are doing much better now, post-operation.

Entangled said...

How cool! Congratulations!

And that looks like a lovely garden magazine too - lots of nice pictures, even for those who don't read Dutch ;-)

Anonymous said...

Way to go congrats on all your writing/gardening success.
I love the you write too.
That was a genius way to start a garden club if I wasn't so darn busy I might start my own club too.

Hey, what is up with the comment section on everybodys blogger blogs? I can only leave a message as anonymous because I don't have a blogger account. Am I doing something wrong?

Chigiy at http://www.gardenersanonymous.com

Rosehaven Cottage said...

How exciting! I'm so glad you shared your article here. I love how you just "took the bull by the horns" and formed your garden club. Such a proactive way to solve the problem of not knowing anyone in a new home. All the best, Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Layanee at 'Ledge and Gardens' said...

YE: Great news! You are a great cheerleader for all of us and it is good to hear that you will be writing more. I, too, will be looking for your articles in the international magazines! Go Girl!

Anonymous said...

hélemaal geweldig , proficiat !!
ik werk nogal eens voor de bladen als fotografe ....misschien kruisen onze wegen zich nog eens ;)))
groetjes !!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Congratulations! I hope you will try to get published in English language magazines so that your writing will reach a larger audience. Most schools in the United States don't teach Dutch & I'll admit from personal experience that it is not an easy language to learn. I had a boyfriend from the Netherlands who tried to teach me, but he gave up in disgust as he said it sounded like I was speaking Russian! (In speak fluent Italian, can get by in German & Spanish & can read, but not prounounce, French.) The last time I was in the Netherlands, I had to speak English or German, as everytime I tried Dutch it came out German. :(

Gotta Garden said...

Why YE, that's just fabulous! It looks like a wonderful article, but then, I would expect that!

Really, though, everyone wouldn't think of doing that...i.e., starting a garden club...You deserve lots of credit for that. Your article will undoubtedly inspire others. Shoot, your blog inspires MANY (look at all those comments!)! I'm sure this is just the beginning of exciting doors opening for you!

Congratulations and thanks for sharing it with us!

Cottage Magpie said...

Congratulations! I'm sure there's lots more in your future!
~Angela :-)

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

What aa exciting year! Congratulations, well done Yolanda Elisabeth! Lots of love from Tyra

Green thumb said...

Fan of your writing, I 've always been, besides loving everything on Bliss including the cats, garden friends, the exciting fruits, lovely looking veggies, the elightening concept of 'small and big'(LOL)...and now you have added another feather to your cap- way to go dear Yolanda. Congratulations and best wishes for everything you do.

Birgit said...

Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Yolanda! Immer zu aller Zeit ist Dein Blog sehens- und lesenwert. Du hast viel Fans. Du musst einfach schreiben. Es liegt Dir!
Liebe Grüße, Birgit

Colleen said...

Wow! Congrats, YE!! I have a sneaking suspicion that your fabulous writing talent was much more of a factor in landing the assignment than winning a Mousie did, but thanks a million for the sentiment, anyway :-)

Hoping to see you in some of our U.S. magazines!

OldRoses said...

Yolanda Elizsabeth, sorry I am way behind in blogreading and commenting. Big, big congratulations on your article being published. I hope this is the start of a whole new writing career for you. But I also hope that you will continue blogging. My furry kids and I enjoy reading about the Bliss team.

Carolyn gail said...

So wonderful to learn of your success which is richly deserved . I've greatly enjoyed your many wonderful posts and the lovely photos of your garden and cats. Keep up the great work.

KC MO Garden Guy said...

Congrats Yolanda!! I am way behind on my reading so I just saw this today. How exciting!! Love you blog and the way you write. Keep up the good work!