Inside a Pet Blogger's Head: The Writing Process Blog Tour

Welcome to my Writing Process Blog tour!  I was invited to join this writing Tour by Kim Gifford author of Pugs and Pics.  We met at a BlogPaws conference and became fast friends.  It was my first BlogPaws conference, I didn’t know a soul that would be in attendance.  I was so happy to have quickly made a friend!  

Kim is a writer, photographer and artist who likes to experiment with many different art forms. She lives in the New England area with her two pugs, Alfie and Waffles, who inspire her and her work.  Kim shares her artistry and her love of pugs on her blog Pugs and Pics.  She also offers writing workshops in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Kim J. Gifford with one of her Pugs

When Kim first invited me to join the #mywritingprocess blog tour, I was really excited.  I don’t exactly consider myself a writer in the author sense of the word but I love to write, especially about my 2 dogs; they are my inspiration and my muses.  Writing my blog is an expression of myself and how I feel about my dogs, and about animal welfare and advocacy.  It’s an expression of how rewarding life is with our dogs Icy and Phoebe and how I wish it could be that way for all dogs.  Every dog deserves a loving home in which they are an integral part of their family.  My hope is that my blog inspires other dog owners to feel the same way!

This Writing Process Blog Tour is a great opportunity to share our blogging experiences with each other.  Although we all have differences in our writing process, we face many of the same challenges, doubts, and ultimately, triumphs.  It’s interesting to see what inspires each of us to write, and the differences in our respective writing processes.
I love the freedom and flexibility of blogging as a writing medium.  For the most part, I write what I want, as frequently as I want, and in a style that reflects my own conversational voice.  No Editor is looming over my shoulder barking (all puns intended!) about deadlines or format, reviewing my content, or changing my words.  I especially love the interactive aspect of blogging, getting to know my readers on a personal level through their comments and being able to respond to those comments. Through my readers' comments I learn what matters to them, and what they want me to share on my blog.  I’ve made good friends through blogging, people who share my passion for animals and for writing about them. Through them I learn and grow, and hope I can offer something in return that may help them learn and grow as well.

What am I working on?
I have two works in progress right now.  The first one is beginning a series on the Therapy Dog volunteer work I do with my Siberian Husky, Icy.  I meant to start those posts much sooner but I think I want to do it justice so badly that it’s holding me up!  The photos I have for the first post are never good enough, I’m not happy with the first draft, etc.  I know I need to Just Do It already and start that first introductory post.  I want to write about my long time fascination with therapy dog work and how I knew from the moment I met Icy as a puppy that she was made for therapy dog work.  Getting started on this series is one of the challenges I'm facing right now.  Figuring out how to adequately express through words how incredibly rewarding our therapy dog work is, the amazing responses I see in both Icy and the people she helps is no easy task.  But I'm working on it! 

The other project I'm working on is a series of blog posts I call 100 Places To See With Your Dog. We travel frequently cross country from Arizona to New York with our dogs and see some really beautiful places.  I want to capture the essence of those places and inspire others to include their dogs in vacations rather than leaving them home.  I have provided tips about traveling w/ dogs and published posts on our travels to Sedona and New Mexico.  We'll be traveling to some fun places, so these posts will continue.

Why do I write what I do?
I've been an animal shelter volunteer for the last 5 years or so.  I've learned so much about the various views people have about pets; some of them not so pretty.  There is still a lot of ignorance around how to properly treat and care for dogs, and the tragic impact of homeless pets.  Through my blog, I strive to educate people about animal welfare issues and about how to be better stewards of their own pet's well being.  I also write about the importance of fostering, how it literally saves lives and my experiences as a foster mom.  I want to write about the therapy dog work I do with Icy as well, sharing our experiences with the human-animal bond at work.  I love sharing the fun stuff we do with our dogs too, like hiking and traveling across the country and hope it inspires others to do the same with their own dogs.

How does my writing process work?
Oddly enough, I don’t run out of topics to blog about, at least I haven't yet!  My writing process is not terribly structured but I do keep a blog post schedule, basically a list of my blog post topics.  I estimate the month and date I’ll write and publish each one, but honestly it always evolves as new things inspire me.  News events about dogs, things that happen at the shelter, our travels, issues I face with my own dogs, a new idea that strikes me, and those dates begin to shift. 
I don’t keep regular hours for writing but I do try to keep to a schedule of 2-3 posts per week.  I then spend several hours reading and commenting on my favorite blogs, discovering new blogs, and marketing my own posts on social media channels.
I always have a notebook handy to jot down ideas as they come to me.  I try to have a camera ready most of the time as well to capture great images of my dogs when the moment strikes; sounds easy but with two active dogs I can tell you it's not!  I go through lots of treats trying to get them to hold that pose for the camera!
Now that I've shared my blog writing process with you, I'd like to introduce you to 3 other pet bloggers whose blogs I greatly enjoy and whom I admire for their robust content, creativity, and passion. Meet these 3 fabulous pet bloggers!

Jenna Drady with two of her Huskies

Meet Jenna Drady, author of Love Is Being Owned By A Husky, one of the blogs I read daily.   Jenna lives in Canada (Brrrrr!) with her hubby, 4 children, 3 Siberian Huskies, and 3 cats.  That is one busy household!   Like me, Jenna has a passion for Huskies and for animal welfare.   She blogs about her own beautiful Huskies, their lovable antics and interesting adventures.  She also dedicates space on her blog to help other dogs looking for their furever homes.  Jenna provides lots of important pet tips and information as well as thoughtful, thorough product reviews that readers find very helpful.  She sells lovely pet inspired jewelry and hosts some pretty cool contests too!
Stacey Van Horn's Crazy Dog Life

Meet Stacey Van Horn author of Crazy Dog Life, another one of my favorite blogs.  Stacey lives in Florida with her family, which includes two pampered pooches, Nadie and Prince.    Her family has been involved in rescue for many years and at one time Stacey had as many as 24 rescue dogs – now THAT is a dog lover!   Her web site includes heartwarming stories about the many ways in which dogs can enrich our lives and the ups and downs we all have as dog owners.   

In addition, Stacey blogs about topics such as personal branding and what it takes to monetize a blog, which are a great resource for other bloggers.  She also writes thorough product reviews and hosts contests!  As if that weren’t enough, Stacey is a web designer as well, offering services through Big Dog Designs which you can access directly on her site.  Her web site is always evolving, providing interesting useful content, keeping up with the topics pet parents and bloggers want to read about right now. 
Barking From the Bayou's M.K. Clinton

Meet M.K. Clinton author of  another great blog, Barking From the Bayou.  As indicated by the title of her blog, M.K. is a Southern gal.  She lives with her Basset Hound Bently, Pierre the Westie, and her husband.  Bentley has the most soulful eyes!  M.K. is the author of The Returns series of books. The award winning The Returns is about dogs who arrive at the pearly gates before their time.  The Returns Department is tasked with sending these early arrivals back to earth, but not in their original canine bodies!  A rookie canine Guardian Angel plays a key role in the humorous story as well.  You'll find fun posts about Bently and Pierre, helpful tips and product reviews, and adoptable dogs on M.K.'s blog. 
I hope you've enjoyed peeking inside this pet blogger's head.  Jenna, Stacey, and M.K. will be posting their writing process blog tours in the next couple of weeks; be sure to check out their blogs often so you don't miss a chance to peek inside their heads! 
What inspires you to write?  Post a comment!  Inquiring blogger minds what to know!


M. K. Clinton said...

Thank you for sharing your writing process. You sound much more organized than me! You inspire me to take more trips with my boys. Hopefully, Bentley will accompany us to Nashville in 2015 for the BlogPaws conference. I'm honored to be included in the writer's process blog tour. ♥♥

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Thanks M.K. I'm happy to have you participate in the tour and look forward to reading your post! I'm flattered that you think I'm somewhat organized, doesn't always feel that way - BOL! Hoping to take my girls to BlogPaws 2015 as well. We'll all meet up for Yappy Hour!

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