The three days I spent at BlogPaws in D.C. really shook things up for me. And that’s not including the earthquake or the hurricane.
At my first conference for pet bloggers, I found myself thrown into a mix of hundreds of people who are just as passionate as I am about what they do. As a natural introvert, I was challenged over and again by the pressures of talking to total strangers about myself and what it is I choose to do with the majority of my time.
Truth is, I was far more at home in the “classrooms”, jotting down everything the presenters had to say, feeling like a college kid excited by the learning. Feeling that brain buzz that gets me going, the egghead’s fever pitch at the prospect of SO MUCH TO LEARN!
There was so much on offer: a ton of great information about how to get higher blog rankings, increase your SEO, the latest nifty tips and tricks … it was a social media event, after all. To a person, every blogger there does this not (just) for profit, but because they are passionate about what they do and want to do it even better, because ultimately we are working on behalf of the animals.
But here’s what I REALLY learned: BlogPaws can teach you everything you ever wanted to know about all of that stuff … the what and the how … but it can’t give you the WHY. You’ve got to bring the WHY, and answer for yourself the most fundamental question of all: WHY do you get up everyday and go back to this, even if (as is true for many of us) there is little or no money in return for the time and effort?
I can’t speak for anybody else. For me it’s love. Just plain L-O-V-E. I love Welsh Corgis more than any other breed of dog (and that’s a lot of dogs and a lot of years of being a dog lover). I think they are the most fascinating, cherishable, smart, unique (some say goofy — I’m OK with that), beautiful and funny dogs on the planet.
It’s as simple as this: they make me positively happy. And as somebody born with a biological pre-disposition to unhappiness (shout out here to all my fellow depressives!), this is no small thing.
Dogs have given me a reason to be happy when being happy seemed all but impossible, and Corgis do that best of all. They occupy that place in my heart where the pilot light stays on, when the cold winds blow and the dark descends. As long as there are still Corgis, with their laughing eyes and little legs, I’ll be all right.
True thing: I wake up every morning eager to see the day’s blog post, even though I wrote it. These stories come to me and through me. I don’t own them, I just share them! Because they make life better, and on the worst days more bearable. I sing the song of dogs — Welsh Corgis in particular — because it is a glorious, friendly, affirming one, and I need to hear it as much as anybody.
So that, my friends, is what I learned at BlogPaws 2011. I learned precisely WHY it is I do this blog. I do it out of love, and the need to hold fast to what makes me happy. Knowing it makes so many other people happy too is remarkable, and for that I’m grateful — and perpetually amazed.
Yours always in the love of Corgi.