|Mom says I'm extraordinarily regular.|
I'm a regular person who does regular things.
In the spring of 2010--after a 13-year wait, months-long breeder search, and hours of research and Saturday morning viewings of Eukanuba dog show reruns on Animal Planet--my family and I got two Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppies. We named the red fluff Jon Farleigh and the merle, Dewi.
Lots of people get puppies, though. In fact, as I type this sentence, I bet there are at least 1,001 families, somewhere, getting a puppy (or a grown dog; it's all relative). And I bet, just like my family and I were, they'll be smitten, and crazy busy, and before too long, they'll claim their lives have been changed forever.
Regular people's lives get changed by dogs all the time.
|Just two puppies in a crate with a kid, y'all. Nothing special to see here; move along!|
Not all people, though, are compelled to document those life changes on public blogs, for the whole world to see.
(OK, but let's get real: just because one has a blog, does NOT mean the whole world is going to see it. In fact, NO ONE in the world--besides one's immediate family, and only if one forces those people--is likely to see it. That is unless one advertises it to one's friends on Facebook, for example, or to other pet bloggers [in the comments of their blogs], or joins a pet blogger community [like BlogPaws], or writes about things that people frequently search for in Google, and Google deems that content appropriate to return in search results*.)
* Gross generalization. Google might not return one's blog at all (or if it does, not before the 500th page of results), unless someone actually reads it. Or, if the blog owner has suffered** through learning, and put into practice, search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
** Just kidding! SEO is only painful when one hasn't found the right teacher. Just so happens that it took me three and a half years to find mine (at BlogPaws 2015). Hint: She'll be back at BlogPaws this May, holding two separate SEO workshops!
Writing a blog has pushed me way out of my comfort zone.
In the beginning, I wrote to a network of other (incredibly supportive and welcoming) Cardigan Welsh Corgi people, many of whom had their own blogs. I loved everything about the whole blog business: from reading them and growing my support network, to getting instant feedback on my own blog posts.
OK, I really loved getting instant feedback. People were laughing at my stuff. My own family had never done that. Turns out, two corgis and a blog were all I needed to unleash the buffoon that had been repressed in me for over 40 years. That's the truth, y'all. I'd written things before, but not ONCE did I think I'd write humor because it just came naturally.
The Internet is small when one writes about pets.
Through interacting with other corgi blogs, I soon discovered there was a whole fascinating world of pet-focused bloggers, in which Cardigan Welsh Corgis were just a dot on the map. There were pet blogs about rescue, rehab, foster care, CATS, product reviews, veterinary medicine, service dog raising, healthy feeding, DIY projects, dog sports, training, general pet well-being, sightseeing with dogs, and yes, even a few, like mine, written purely for entertainment. (Bless the entertainers; I have been so inspired!)
And, there were the prolific writers. Those whose gift for prose made me question why I ever decided to make my blog public. I mean, who would ever take me seriously, writing about having to cut dingleberries off Jon Farleigh's backside, for example, because he ate some hair and dragged his butt across the carpet? (Surprisingly, more people than I thought, thank goodness.)
|Really? You're still talking about regularity?|
Those writers never ended up being the reason I quit writing, though, because I kept writing! DUH! Nope, they were (and still are) the reason I try to write better. Not different, but better (even nonsense should be well-written).
Thanks to community, I'm proud to write whatever the heck I feel inspired to write!
(Including a comedy about how to remove latched on ticks from one's pet. Ticks might steal blood, but who said they get to steal our joy too?! Stupid ticks! Side Note: Have you ever noticed how puffed up ticks look like corn kernels? Never mind.)
Even though I'm an introvert and a little shy meeting new people in a social setting, I thrive on community and face-to-face contact.
Note: Being an introvert does not automatically make a person shy. Harry Potter is an introvert; is he shy? Nope! Anyway, shyness stems from social anxiety. Introversion is what one has when energy is drawn from within. While those with extroversion derive energy from other people. This doesn't mean introverts don't like human interaction. It does mean, however, that if you put them in a crowded room, make sure there's a path out to a quiet corner, where they can listen to their own thoughts for a while. (Click here for lots of BlogPaws conference tips for introverts.)
The pet blogger community is my tribe.
According to the British dictionary at dictionary.com, a tribe is defined (informally) as: a family, esp a large one.
So, I have a large "family" of other pet bloggers. Not a twice-a-year-at-Thanksgiving-and-Christmas, reluctant, boundary-crossing, disapproving, drunken outburst-ing family, like in the movies, but a supportive, listening, teaching, fellow-animal-loving family of friends. The best bunch of pet-loving people a regular girl could ask for!
Too bad I've never seen any of them face-to-face. When one's tribe lives all over the globe, getting together for a girls' night is kind of a challenge.
That first part was a lie.
Oh gosh, I've seen LOTS of my blogger tribe face-to-face! At the annual BlogPaws social media and pet blogging conference! (Hint: Click that link and be whisked to all the details!)
So, you know that list of pet blogger types I listed earlier? Including the prolific prose writers who give me something to strive for?
I've met them all at BlogPaws!
Not every single pet blogger I ever met online, to be clear. But representatives from every possible type of pet-related blog--including those I've already come to know and admire online--have been to a BlogPaws conference at the same time as I have!
Regular folks, like me, can do extraordinary things. With the help of a strong support group.
- For me, getting over years of insecurity to embrace my true "voice" is extraordinary.
Going from a scared-to-death newbie at BlogPaws 2011 to a two-time BlogPaws Ambassador is extraordinary.
(Yes, I'm back at it again this year! Conference newbies, you are in good hands! Please join me--and your fellow 2017 newbies--in the BlogPaws Social Learning Community today!)
- Being asked to speak. Let me repeat: SPEAK as a panel expert at BlogPaws this year is extraordinary.
(I'm speaking about Facebook marketing--along with two other experts who will be speaking about Instagram and Pinterest, respectively--during the Social Media workshop on Saturday morning. Here's the official agenda; feel free to RSVP that you're coming!)
- Being a finalist for a peer award, given for "best writing" in a sponsored blog post is extraordinary.
Translated: Somebody might give me an award for that cockamamie--but fun to write, and veterinarian approved--tick-removal post I told you about earlier. Oh, and I got paid for writing it. Hmm. Wonder why the Academy Awards aren't worded, for example, "Best Paid Actress in a Motion Picture?" Because you know NO ONE would tune in to see the all-volunteer actors' Academy Awards. Does anyone know of an actor who volunteered to star in a motion picture, for free?
Fun fact: For sheer enjoyment, I used to write commercial ad copy for make-believe products and brands when I was a kid. I never once got paid.
Let BlogPaws help you find your extraordinary!
Do you love pets? And have an interest in blogging and/or social media to share your voice? Want to meet several hundred others who have similar goals and interests? Get tips and tools, do fun things, get a giant sack full of free stuff for your fur babies, and eat a bunch of really great food? At the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel? With me? (OK, I will be there, but I won't follow you around the whole time.)
Meet me in Myrtle Beach, SC, May 18-20, 2017!
Register today and enter the following code for a 10% discount on the regular blogger rate:
Once you've registered, RSVP to the event on the BlogPaws Facebook page to get breaking news and meet others who are attending!
And, of course, follow BlogPaws on social media for the latest tips and updates!
So, are you going to the conference? Is it your first time? Let me know in comments!