It’s my pleasure to welcome author Lou Belcher back to Thoughts in Progress as the special guest blogger.
Lou is the author of THE ZEN OF MAX, but she’s here today to talk about another one of her passions - pet blogging. Lou is a blogger, writer, editor, and photographer. Almost two years ago, she gave 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 with Max's voice and personality coming through loud and clear. Today's post is about her start as a pet blogger and the purpose she has found in this endeavor. Lou is here to talk about “Pet Blogging: A Labor of Love.”
I didn't set out to be a pet blogger. Initially, I dipped a toe into the blogosphere by starting 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).
Instantly, I found I enjoyed the process of blogging. 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 was a bit stiff, so I set out to find other pet bloggers. I (or Max, that is) began to talk to them 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 blogs about pet products, writes book reviews, 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.
Of all my blogs, I consistently find Max's 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
Lou, thanks for stopping by and sharing about Max’s blog. I think pet blogs are a great part of blogdom. There are several pet blogs that I try to visit daily and you’re right, they are very caring people.
Here’s a little background on Lou. She started her writing career through editing and has written four non-fiction books. Recently she wrote Ready, Set, Tweet: A Speedy Guide to Twitter. The book was well-received, but she would not recommend writing a book about current technology. Ready, Set, Tweet was published in February 2010. It provided detailed instructions on how to get up and going on Twitter. A mere six months after publication, Twitter changed its format, making the new book obsolete.
Lou began blogging several years ago. Two of her blogs are specifically designed to help artists and writers. Two are personal blogs about her writing and photography, and almost two years ago, she became a pet blogger when she set up Max’s blog. One of the purposes of Max's blog is to support animal adoption efforts through periodic posts about animals needing homes and through donating a portion of the proceeds from her book, THE ZEN OF MAX (A MEMOIR OF GREAT WISDOM AND MANY NAPS) to agencies devoted to finding forever homes for pets. THE ZEN OF MAX is available through Amazon.com. The link for that is: http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Max-memoir-great-wisdom/dp/1456310992/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_3
I’ve read a number of cozy mysteries, as well as books in other genres, that include pets as minor characters. What are your thoughts on including pets in your writing - books and blogs?