I write the blogs that make the whole world read. I’ve been tagged by a fellow fab blogger, Amy Shojai, to tell you why I write about dogs and more.
I uttered that line aloud at a BlogPaws staff retreat earlier this year and that phrase says it all. I’ve been asked to participate in a “Why I Write” blog hop.
My heart beats dog®. At the very core of who I am, it is dog that is my passion. I decided to switch careers several years ago, and I knew in my heart and gut that incorporating writing for and about dogs into my life was a must.
During my youth, when I would play Candy Land, Operation, Atari, and later Trivial Pursuit, my friends would go home but I would “blog “ about it; in my diary, of course: The diary with the key. I’d write up catchy, snappy descriptions for the back of the box that would effectively sell these games to consumers. Realizing corporations weren’t pounding down the door seeking a 13-year-old slogan and jingle writer, I set my sights on a career in writing and have not looked back since.
I see it, I hear it, I research it, and I write about it. This is what I do. Why I write, however, is a different story (pun intended).
Writing completes me. I get a thrill, an innate yearning, and the warm fuzzies when I write. I would write even if I did not get paid to do so: Writing is in my blood.
The Back Story and Abandonment
After high school graduation in 1986, I opted for a career and not college. Though I was a 4.0 GPA student (and back then 4.0 was the maximum), I lacked guidance from an adult authority figure. So I did what many of my friends were doing: Hit the work force. In the one solid full-time job I had for almost 7 years before returning to college full time, I was the go-to girl for writing needs.
“Hey Carol, can you write me a letter that expresses this….”
“Carol, do you have a half hour to write to the sales force and get them to do …..”
I pined for more writing assignments. So when I was encouraged by my now wife to return to college full time as an adult, I leaped at the opportunity to find myself and be the “real me.”
I earned three degrees, an A.A. and A.S. in Education and Business Management, and my proudest moment, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in English from Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania.
So Now What
Having the passion and college education, my next move was working as a medical language specialist and transcribing reports for doctors from all over the world. Heck, I may have even transcribed a report from a surgery you underwent. I transcribed everything from gallbladder removals to heart transplants and psychiatric reports.
I chose this career because I felt I could embrace my lifelong passion for learning and still have time to write for ME on the side. Most importantly, as an adult I decided I wanted a telecommute/virtual career. I work better independently, in a quiet environment, and my work ethic is strong enough to support this decision. I also want a career where both my spouse and dog are with me. As of this writing, we are together 21 years and it works for us.
Unfortunately, medical language processing didn’t cut it for me. It is a great career for some, but I was ultimately bored and creatively unfulfilled.
Taking the Leap
I applied for a remote position as a medical education content writer. Long story short: I got the job. For two years, I loved it: Writing and changing the lives of people who were, in essence, changing their lives. The company would be purchased and as happens, they wanted their own in house people. Bye bye me.
I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t devastated: I was. I am the type to bounce back: It might take me a little bit longer, but no one holds me down. I will come back and rise above and be even better than I was before. I love the quote, “You have no idea how high I can fly,” which Michael Scott said when he was let go during an episode of “The Office.”
I always loved dogs. In fact, I’ve trademarked the line, “My heart beats dog.®” I went on to become the social media and PR director for a fledgling dog magazine. They had no blog presence, so I created one. They had 222 Facebook followers. I took that to 50,000. I was then hired to write for the magazine and became one of their most published writers, averaging six articles per issue.
From there, I developed my own blog, worked freelance for several dog magazines, developed an online presence, and walked into a conference room in 2010.
I have been to every single BlogPaws conference since their very first one in Ohio, each of them with my dog, Dexter, by my side. I fell in love with the entire concept of pet blogging and knew this is where I belonged. I officially joined the team in April of 2012.
And Current Day
I write five times minimum per week for Fidose of Reality, once a week for Pet360, two to three times a week for BlogPaws, and assignments here and there. I’ve fallen in love with PR and Marketing, so I can tap into my writing, communication, and interpersonal skills there.
Dog products excite me and invigorate me. I am absolutely over-the-top obsessed with dog products, keeping up with the pet industry, and learning as much as humanly possible about trends and the story and manufacture behind the product. I am a watchdog and an alternative lifestyle blogger.
My writing empowers me these days on many levels. BlogPaws is a force with which to be reckoned and a source of empowerment for new, intermediate, and advanced level bloggers as well as those who are interested in blogging.
“A dog lover of the highest order,” is how Gayle King introduced me when I appeared with my dog, Dexter, on Oprah Radio’s Gayle King show to dish dogs.
Fidose of Reality is an alternative living magazine-style dog blog if your heart beats dog. We unite dog lovers of the highest order.
Does any of the following apply to you?
- You take your dog on vacation and/or travel with your dog
- You would go without so your dog can have what he or she needs
- You are someone who identifies as L, G, B, or T and has a dog
- You like the idea that “dogs are the new kids”
- Pet fashion is fun for you as long as the dog is happy about wearing the clothes
- You like to read about off-the-beaten path dog news and information that is reality based and provides actionable, doable things for pet parents
- You think the idea of a dog wedding for a fundraiser is way cool
If you answered yes to one or more of these things, then welcome home. You are probably considered alternative by someone, somewhere, and we embrace that. Alternative living is the new norm. I’ve colored outside the lines for as long as I can remember. I certainly don’t plan to change.
We’re alternative but extraordinary. Fidose of Reality is all about extraordinary dog lovers.
QUESTION TIME: So that’s me in a raw nutshell. Is there something that affects your life as profoundly as writing affects mine?
And now here are three folks I encourage to do the same and share their writing passion and why they write in this blog hop:
Rachel Sheppard of My Kid Has Paws
Kristin Elliott, of Doodie Pack who is a pet product inventor, in addition to her full-time teaching job – she also writes!