Pet Blogging: A Labor of Love
Lou Belcher is the author of The Zen of Max (a memoir of great wisdom and many naps). Her post today is about one of her passions: pet blogging. Lou is a blogger, writer, editor and photographer. She has four blogs that keep her busy.
She started blogging with two blogs designed to help artists and authors. It was only natural that she would give her cat Max a blog and Twitter site in hopes of breaking through the trouble she was having finishing a book about him. Now, Max's blog has taken on a life of its own. It's no longer Lou talking about Max, but Max has taken over in his own voice and his personality comes through loud and clear. Today's post is about her start as a pet blogger and the purpose she has found in this endeavor.
I have been a freelance writer and editor for many years. I happened into pet blogging incidentally. Initially, I started blogging to bring some attention to artists and writers in Florida. My first blogs were Brevard Art News (a blog about art in Brevard, Florida) and Florida Book News (a blog about Florida writers, their books, writing organizations and events). Immediately, I loved the process of blogging. I liked the connection with readers and the immediacy of it. Therefore, it was only natural when I reached a sticking point in a book I was writing that I put up a blog in an attempt to get un-stuck.
You see, before my cat Max died in 2008, I had started a book about him. After he died, I just couldn't work on it. One day, I decided I had to finish it. To ease back into writing about him, I gave Max his own blog. It did the trick. At first, my writing as Max was a bit stiff. I searched for other pet bloggers to get a feel for how they did it. I found a variety of approaches. I (or Max, that is) began to talk to other bloggers by commenting on their blogs and through chatting with them on Twitter (@MaxTheQuiltCat). Soon enough, Max found his voice.
Max's blog is diverse. He blogs about daily events, such as the time a fish fell from the sky near a local restaurant and the staff made Lucky (the fish) into their pet. That day, Max put out an alert to all cats to get out in their yards: "Fish are falling from the sky!" He also writes book reviews, blogs about pet products, and blogs about anything that has anything to do with dogs, cats, and pets of all varieties. He loves to write poetry, but he doesn't do it that often. And, he writes short stories in the first person where he is the hero, of course. There are pet blogs in many formats. At MaxTheQuiltCat.com, Max blogs in the first person. That works well for him. Other bloggers blog about their pets in the third person, and still others blog by posting photos or drawings with captions or youtube videos.
No matter the format, pet blogs seem to have several common threads: to raise awareness on how valuable pets are, to inform others about the connectedness of all species, and to help raise funds and/or find forever homes for animals who need them. In addition, I've found one important common factor: pet bloggers really care about one another. They are quick to help each other, to send followers to one another, and to offer assistance when another blogger seems to be having a rough patch. I must admit... At times, I'm a little jealous of Max. His blog often gets a bigger response than my other blogs. I guess that's why I find his blog the easiest and most fun to write... of course, that might be because he practically writes it himself. Please feel free to visit Max and leave comments for him. He loves to hear what others think. http://www.maxthequiltcat.com/