So I got nominated for an award. Believe it or not, at least three people, not two, apparently read this blog.
Those poor souls.
“Tales of Tucker,” which I sort of consider as a sister blog to mine (though I’ve never actually told its author that), nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. According to the bylaws, I must:
- Thank whoever nominated me and include a link to his or her blog.
- Write a post and give a brief story of how my blog started.
- Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
- Select 15 other blogs I want to give the award to.
- Let the nominees know I have nominated them and provide a link to the nomination details.
I think “Tales of Tucker” started just before my blog did, and its posts concern a large black lab who makes almost as much mischief as Katniss, the canine heart and soul of “A Guerro and His Perro”; the key word here is “almost.” The author does a great job of using photos to illustrate each post, something I ought to improve upon. If you find yourself wanting a black lab after reading a couple of posts about Tucker, I doubt you’re alone.
So how did my train wreck of a blog get started? I was bored and secretly disappointed in myself. Usually I’m just the latter!
For some time, I had been reading the work of a newspaper columnist, D.L. Stewart, who writes for my hometown Dayton Daily News. I even had the good fortune to meet Mr. Stewart at the DDN offices during a trip home. He told me about how when he was younger he wanted to be the next Erma Bombeck, the great humorist who also hailed from Dayton, and people had even told him that he could be. It got me thinking: Could I be the next D.L. Stewart? Mom always said my style of writing was like his. And moms are never wrong, right?
I was working in South Texas as a copy editor at a fairly large daily newspaper at the time and writing a weekly column that seemed to be popular—I was so grateful or the opportunity to write that I never even asked to be paid extra for it (not that I was that good anyway). I felt like it was only a matter of time until I became the next D.L. Stewart—as long as I kept working hard and refining my writing.
I ended up taking a new job here in Austin—a job I love at a company I love more than Katniss loves to make her trademark whine—but my days as a columnist were over. I was completely fine with that and still am. However, I feared I would never be the next D.L. Stewart and carry on the proud humor writing legacy of my beloved hometown.
In July my wife was telling me I needed to create a blog and write again, but Katniss was too busy barking and whining for me to really think for more than five seconds at a time about a subject for my blog. In between fits of whining and growling (my own, not my dog’s), I decided Katniss would be my blog’s focus. My plan was to create an accessible, humorous, heartfelt blog that anyone could enjoy whether he or she liked dogs.
Side note: There’s a surprising amount of pet blogs out there; I was naive enough to think I had an original idea.
I am trying to increase my readership via Twitter (@), which seems promising and terrifying at the same time. Chasing down this odd dream I have of being a humor writer—meaning I think I’m actually funny and insightful even though I know that’s a reach at best—seems egotistical and impossible. And there’s few things worse than a big ego, in my opinion. The move to Twitter even gave me some anxiety-related heartburn recently, but I think I’ll get over it. Maybe. Hopefully?
Anyway, if you’re a new blogger, you don’t have that much more experience than I do. The best advice I have is to keep writing, even when it seems like no one is reading—which seems like every day to me. Also, get out of your comfort zone a little—like me trying Twitter, for example.
As for blogs I would nominate for this award, I don’t have 15. I don’t follow many blogs, but there are a few that inspire me. “Ordinary Adventures” is a girly lifestyle blog that doesn’t seem like something I would ever care about, but its author does a great job with engaging readers, using lots of photos and trying new ways to broaden her audience. I respect her hustle.
“Little Grey Box” has surely been nominated for dozens of these types of awards, and I think this might be the first blog I followed when I started. Its author is a master of using photos and the layout of the page to make her posts pop as she writes about travel. Again, this is a topic I would normally not be interested in, but I felt if I was going to learn how to make my blog look good, the subject matter was secondary to the presentation. From the looks of my blog, I have a long way to go.
I have no idea how to pronounce this blog name or what it means, but “Inumonogatari” did an awesome profile on German shepherds that really impressed me with its detail. That post was a treat.
“The Cricket Pages” is a blog that has been supportive of mine since I started, and its author writes some deep, insightful posts not only about dogs but also faith, love and her insecurities.
Other than these blogs I’m more of a random blog reader as I usually don’t have the time that I’d like to have to check out more of them. If you’ve made it this far in reading my work without clicking to a different page or hurling yourself off a cliff out of sheer boredom, I appreciate you.