4 Reasons I Don’t Write Holiday-Themed Blog Posts About My Pets
This was my first- and last- attempt at “dogs in bunny ears” photographs. It was an unmitigated disaster and resulted in 4 very unhappy dogs and a small fire. Apparently, bunny ears are flammable and should not be placed on or near a burning candle. Who knew?
With the arrival of every holiday, which seem to come faster every month, the vast majority of my pet blogging peers write holiday-themed posts and with each one they write, I feel a small pit in my stomach.
I experience fleeting moments of guilt, shame, failure or some combination of the above. By not writing these types blog posts I am the odd-man out. That must say something negative about me as a blogger. Or does it?
During these moments, I wonder quietly to myself and, on occasion, out loud to my husband: Is there something wrong with me?
Am I a lesser blogger because I don’t throw bunny ears on my dogs and then craft an amazing post full of keen insights or crafty DIY projects with awesome photos?
Am I kidding myself with this whole pet blogger thing? I ask because, if one takes a closer look at the pet blogging community today, holiday-themed and pet-centric DIY posts are simply what a pet blogger does these days- or so it seems.
But the cold, hard truth is this: I’m not that kind of blogger.
It’s not who I am.
It is not my authentic voice, and if I take a minute and breathe through my feelings of self-doubt and anxiety and if I stop comparing myself to most everyone else I know- people that I respect immensely by the way- I’m okay NOT being that type of blogger. I’m happy being the mutt in an AKC crowd.
My difference makes me who I am.
I don’t write posts about making festive Easter baskets for my dogs because I don’t create or give them to my dogs.
I don’t dress my boys up as Leprechauns or American flags because I think it’s a little weird. Sure, the photos can be stunning, and if done right- with authenticity and a clear vision- these posts can be outstanding. Check out my friends at MyGBGVLife or Coco The Couture Cat for proof of this.
But go ahead, knock yourself out trying to find a cute Catwoman suit for a 92 pound deaf dog. They do not exist.
And that’s a difficult hurdle to clear, no matter how inspired I theoretically might maybe want to be, which I’m not.
Admittedly, another problem is that I forget that most holidays exist, that is until my blogging friends start to remind me a fews days in advance with their creative posts about dyed Easter eggs featuring a hand-painted silhouette of their dog or cat on it.
So I’m working hard on not putting myself down for being different, for not being like everyone else. I have a few explanations, not that my authentic self needs an explanation, but here are a few of the things I remind myself when I’m feeling like a poser.
–> I am male. Though I’m gay, I’m still a man, which means I think like a man. I experience the world as a man, and I am creative like a man. For lots of reasons- some good, some questionable, and some unknown- men typically aren’t drawn to cutesy DIY Pinterest-friendly projects. I admire them but I’m not compelled to try my hand at them.
–> My maleness informs my blog and my voice. As one of a precious few male voices in the pet blogging community, I am different by definition. That is ok. I celebrate my contribution to the pet blogging community because men do have valuable contributions to make. We aren’t always acknowledged by the community in the way I think we deserve, but hey, men enjoy oodles of other gender-based privileges in life that more than make up for this.
On a side note, not all men are neanderthals wondering from carburetor to backseat Tinder date (or Grindr, if you’re that kind of boy) then home to a filthy, unkempt apartment with dirty socks piled in one sink and dirty dishes in the other. Okay, maybe that part applies to me, but still…
Men also share their life with pets. Men adore their pets, and shocker!, men also spend money on their pets. Marketing and PR folks, in their quest for female customers, may forget about all those XY dollars they’re leaving on the table. That will change, my friend, and new studies about the spending behavior of millennials are proving my point.
–> Though all pet bloggers tackle important subjects and meaningful topics in their own way, my interests are unique even within the sea of wonderful pet bloggers. Yes, if you write a blog about your pet, you are a bit odd. Embrace it, because I love you for it! It’s just that my interests are little further off the beaten track. I write about deaf dogs and street art for God’s sake!
Talk about niche…but, then again, niche bloggers can help steer the larger conversation and offer tremendous value.
–> Most importantly, I don’t know how to be anything or anyone other than who I am. It’s not always pretty or Pinterest-ready, but it is honest, and in a world where information is flying at us at warp speed from all four directions, I believe in the power of honesty and authenticity. Those qualities will help me (and you) stand out. My voice and my approach may not gain the largest number of readers or social media followers, but the ones I have are loyal. They know who I am, what I‘m about and they listen to me for a reason. Then they come back for more and i love each one for it!
So here’s to me being exactly who I am. Ditto for you. Check back in a few days for a cool post about a deaf dog collar that intersects perfectly with my passion for deaf dog advocacy. My pictures will probably be good but don’t expect homemade Simplicity patterns for crafting these collars at home. My idea of sewing is going to my tailor. He knows that I dress left- and he accepts Visa.