The Puppiness Project, usually seen at this time slot, has been postponed for a special edition of the Pet Blogger Challenge. Please return next week for our regularly scheduled post.
What were you doing on March 23, 2010?
I was starting a blog and preparing to bring my first puppy home in nearly 20 years.
With all the excitement in bringing home a puppy (setting up a crate, puppy proofing the house, saying goodbye to your clean floors), why did you feel the need to start a blog?
I had a few reasons.
- I wanted to document Honey’s time with us in a way I had never done with previous dogs. Agatha and Christie were with us prior to the era of digital cameras so I only have a few pictures of them and rely on my memory to think of our time together. We have pictures of Shadow but I didn’t track much of our time together in writing. So this was going to be my way to reflect on our time with Honey.
- I like hanging out with dog people. I’ve always appreciated people with deep passions and didn’t think I had any of my own. It’s only been recently that I realize that dogs are my deep passion. And I like the idea of hanging around (even if it’s only virtually) with people who share my passion.
- I was wondering if blogging could be part of a way of supporting myself financially that would allow me to live a pleasing life–one less dominated by a schedule that feels artificial to me and that allowed me to be more creative.
After nearly 10 months, are you still blogging for the same reasons?
Reasons 1 and 2 are still very strong. I wrestle with reason 3.
So far I’ve done nothing to make Something Wagging This Way Comes earn its keep. I’m paying boarding fees at a very nice web host and will have to pay year after year to keep that very pleasing name. I’ve thought about ways to earn money from Something Wagging but I suspect I’d have to be more “customer focused” instead of my usual narcissistic approach and that I might not have as much fun if I start thinking about every activity in terms of whether it’s profitable.
I would love to chat about this with other pet bloggers.
Does that mean you’ve stopped considering making money through blogging?
Actually I decided that a more profitable topic might be what I do every day in my job–counseling and teaching first time home buyers. I really enjoy helping people wrestle with the emotional and financial decisions that are part of buying a home. And I think I can do something quite different from other sources on the web.
The students in my home buyer’s classes tell me I’m the first person who’s ever defined amortization so they understood it and got a good laugh.
I’ll be launching Hands on Home Buyer as a new blog this month.
Since the best reason for buying a home is to have room for pets, some of the folks I’ve met through Something Wagging This Way Comes might want to check out Hands on Home Buyer. I have a page set up on Facebook. If you become a fan, you’ll get first notice when the blog goes live.
Oh yeah, and on Facebook I have a link to an interesting video about home inspectors who are using dogs to sniff out mold in buildings.
Are you finished with the shameless self-promotion?
Yes, yes I am.
What is your method of blogging? Do you post on a schedule or wait for inspiration to strike?
I used to wait for inspiration to strike and if you look at my archives, you’ll see very sporadic posting.
Participating in National Blog Posting Month for November (a challenge to post every day of the month) let me know that I could post more frequently without cracking up. Since then, I’ve posted nearly every day except Sunday.
My rough schedule includes the Puppiness Project on Mondays, Tue Cute Tuesday, and a video post on Fridays. But I try not to be too rigid.
Do you add cute puppy pictures to your posts because you’re afraid you’re too wordy and boring and you hope the cute puppy will keep them hanging on as you blather on and on?
Why yes. How did you know?
Just a guess. Do you write and edit your posts in advance?
No, part of what has kept this fun has been writing quickly, right into WordPress, with little or no editing. I get up at 5 a.m. to write my posts and they have to be quick because I have to get to work on time.
That’s another concern I have about blogging for pay. Somehow I suspect people might want my writing to be cohesive, clear, and free of mistakes.
I like writing. I hate editing.
What do you enjoy about blogging?
- I love meeting other people who stop to comment or who are writing their own blogs.
- Writing quickly without worrying too much about whether it’s publishable in a traditional format and being able to be silly is lots of fun.
- I’ve always liked the idea of starting a magazine and bringing lots of resources together into one place. Blogging gives me a chance to do something like that.
- I love WordPress and all the developers who’ve created a product that allows me to do something pretty attractive without working too hard on layout.
- I love the synergy of different ideas coming together across the web and that much of it is in the hands of passionate individuals and not just corporations.
What do you like the least about blogging?
- Figuring out the technical side and troubleshooting problems.
- See #1.
- See #1 and #2.
- See #1, #2, and #3.
What do you think will happen with Something Wagging This Way Comes in 2011?
I’m not sure. I have some decisions to make.
- Can I continue to keep up with Something Wagging, start a new blog, entertain my puppy, keep my job, and prevent my husband from divorcing me without getting up too much earlier than 4:30 a.m. each morning?
- Should I try to find ways to raise income from Something Wagging because I enjoy it so much or would adding commerce make it a burden?
- Will I ever figure out how to add a widget to allow folks to subscribe by email and replace the subscribers I lost when I started self-hosting Something Wagging?
- Should I attend BlogPaws in 2011? I think it would be great to get up from the computer and meet other people doing the same thing.
I wouldn’t expect to see any answers soon. I’m a notoriously slow decision maker and don’t have the confidence of a puppy crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope with butter on her paws.
Do you have anything else to add?
Just to thank Amy Burkert and Edie Jarolim for hosting the challenge and setting this up. I know they both have lots of other things to do and it was very generous of them to get this going. I can’t wait to read what everyone else has to say.
This is a blog hop. So hop on!