7 Ways Blogging Is Like Owning A Puppy

I’m almost at my one-year blogging anniversary (10/30!!).  I’ll save my “How & Why” story until then, but one over-arching reality I've discovered is how much blogging is like owning a puppy.  Both come with their share of expenses, highs/lows, and surprises.   In case you want to start one of these things yourself OR if you're thinking about getting a puppy (and, by the way, I think you should do both, though maybe not at the same time!), here are a few things you ought to know:

1. Puppies & Blogs Demand Attention

I want this!
I want this!

Neither puppies nor blogs thrive if you ignore them.  The second you buy or launch that “cute little” thing, it will be in the back of your mind.  The best way to handle this new responsibility is to train yourself to pay attention quickly, and early, so you can get on with your day and/or minimize damage.

2. Puppies & Blogs Bring You Joy

Gotcha day!
Gotcha day!

After our first lab, Jake, died, we waited nine months before buying a puppy, Mack.  The first day the new yellow dog came home I was reminded how much fun we had been missing.  The same thing happens in blog world.  I LOVE having an outlet for my random thoughts, my creative ideas, and my personal advice.  Writing has brought more pleasure than  I had hoped.

3. Puppies & Blogs Bring You Sorrow

Thief
Thief

From chewed-up library books, to crashed sites; from cleaning up pee, to figuring out why an image won't show up; from stealing food to getting the correct fonts, both my puppy and my blog frustrate me with the smallest things.  If I could organize my life around such disruptions, I would.  However, puppies, like technology, don’t follow linear reasoning.  Some days the only thing that works is powering down, unplugging, and hoping for a better tomorrow.

4. Puppies & Blogs Keep You Up Late And/Or Get You Up Early

Morning Walk
Morning Walk

Mack and Joyphenix.com don’t always understand that I have a real job.  As a result, my mornings are early and/or my nights are late. I’m not complaining, just making an observation.

5. Puppies & Blogs Require Training

When you get a dog, there are at least two of you learning how to co-exist.  We THINK we trained our puppy to ring a bell when he needs to pee outside.  In truth, Mack seems to think he’s trained US to stop whatever we’re doing and pay attention to him when he noses the bells.  Who is in charge after all??  Well, the blog behaves in similar ways.  I act like I’m imposing my will on what I write, but the creative flow feels less like I’m “making stuff up” and more like I’m “putting stuff down.” Inspiration is a funny thing that way.

Sit Mack! from Joy Phenix on Vimeo.

6. Puppies & Blogs Require Help From Others

Lindsay & Jordan
Lindsay & Jordan

When we bought Mack, our friends, Lindsay and Jordan, helped us surprise the kids.  When we travel, we leave our dog with Sue or Patrick or Emily or Bonnie or…. the list goes on and on… it literally takes a village.  The same is true with the blog.  Tripp & Billy helped get me up and running.  John Saddington saved me from technical ruin on more than one occasion.  My mom edits and tells me when my grammar fails.  Billy lets me know when something falls flat or the tone is off.  Feedback from readers informs me if I’ve hit on an important topic.  Encouragement from friends tells me to keep playing in the space.  Blogging is surprisingly humbling and encouraging at the same time.  Go figure!

7. Puppies & Blogs Make You Grateful For Their Presence

Puppy love
Puppy love

Looking back on the 18 months with the dog and 12 months with the blog, my overwhelming emotion is gratitude for the experience. Growth is sneaking up on me in ways I can’t describe, but maybe the words will come to me on another day.

In the meantime, thanks for reading along this year.  I am honored that you share your time with me.  Also, please pardon any misadventures along the way.  I'm still learning!

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