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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Annie and Little Bear with their friend Grace

Annie and Little Bear with their friend Grace

Oh my poor neglected blog. Seven whole months on its lonesome, twiddling its pixels in cyber space wondering if this was it, the thing every blog dreads – the last post.

Well, despite my tardiness, TLBDB, now in its fifth year, need not fear, I have no intentions of abandoning it. I have though come to accept that my posts may not be quite so frequent as they once were.

My less frequent updates are due to a couple of factors.  Finding a group of people locally who are all living and working with reactive dogs has been an enormous help, not just for the opportunity to socialise our dogs, but to find support from people who really, genuinely understand the challenges.

Working for myself also means that I now get paid to write. Admittedly, I don’t get paid to write about dogs, but you never say never!

Little Bear and Annie have come such a long way and continue to be a source of joy and hilarity.  They still have issues and we’ve come to realise that when working with fearful dogs, there’s rarely ever a destination, just a better quality of road.

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Fellow bloggers, hands up anyone who’s been overcome with an absolute burning desire to write a blog post at the exact same time that you ‘should’ be doing something else?  That report you need to finish writing?  Housework to do? Cat needs a bath? (I was joking on that last point)

Right now I should be writing an article I’m planning on pitching to a newspaper but, what do you know? I can’t possibly start until this urgent post is out-of-the-way!  I know.  Pathetic isn’t it?  I’m fully aware that I’m distracting myself because blogging is safe and rewarding (who in their right mind wouldn’t want to write about dogs all day?!) but pitching new ideas to scary editors is, well, scary!

So that my wasted ten minutes isn’t completely wasted, I’ve coined a new term purely for my own amusement:

Blogstraction – the act of writing blog posts as a distraction. 

There. Post done. I’ll just make another cuppa before I tackle that article….

 

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Little Bear the Mini Schnauzer

Little Bear

I’m thinking of writing a stiff letter to Life.  I think I’ve been incredibly tolerant up until now but something really has to be said about the way it relentlessly interrupts my training plans. And please, don’t even get me started on its effect on my blogging schedule…

I’m joking of course, but it’s a nice thought isn’t it?  ‘Excuse me Life, but can you just butt out for a while? I have dogs to train. We’re on a schedule you know.’

Curve ball

My mother was taken suddenly and critically ill recently and in the space of one phone call everything changed. Life jumped on us from a great height and we had no choice but to let it.  Thankfully she made a remarkable recovery and when I returned home nearly two weeks later, (to a thorough telling off by Little Bear and what I can only describe as a giggle dance from Annie) the dogs and I picked up where we left off.

Surrender

I’ve used Churchill’s famous quote about ‘never ever giving up’ many a time and it’s still something that inspires me and spurs me on when I’m tired and down-hearted. I’ll never stop striving for the best for my dogs, but I am willing to give up on something – the idea that I have to do it all perfectly and that if I don’t, then I’m somehow letting them down.

If you have a reactive dog, let alone two, you know what hard work they can be.  The dream is something most other dog owners take for granted; a quiet stroll in the park, a coffee at a pavement cafe without it causing a scene. It’s not a big dream but getting there takes a lot of work.

Little Bear and Annie have come such a long way. The work is working and we will persist, but I’m going to tear up that draft letter and tell Life that it’s okay. I understand. It has to do its thing and that’s fine. Whatever it throws at us, well, we’re just going to work around it.

 

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I write all day. I’m lucky in that my day job is in corporate communications so I’m paid to write speeches; copy; briefings; articles and press releases. And yet when I finally turn off the PC for the day and get on with the usual chores of eating dinner (notice I didn’t say cooking  ;-)) walking, playing and feeding the dogs and then trying to create  some semblance of order in the house, the itch to write is constantly with me, pulling at my sleeve like an incessant toddler.

I’ve often pondered on this. I doubt decorators come home from a long day and get the urge to get the paint rollers out again and I’ve known many a teacher who bolts the door for fear of even seeing another child in the next twelve hours so what’s going on?

Expression

My only conclusion is that most writers are driven by a need for expression.  The need for people to read what I’ve written is nowhere near as important to me as the need to commit my thoughts to paper or pixel.  A purging almost of the mind and soul, it doesn’t need to be read in order to matter as far as I’m concerned – I just need to do it.

I may write all day but on the whole they’re not my words. I’m a ghost stepping into another’s shoes to write speeches; I’m a saleswoman pitching an idea in my copy; I’m a teacher marking the homework of the agencies whose work I edit with a bleeding pen through clenched teeth. I’m many people, except of course the most authentic one – Me.

Writer’s block

I sat down this afternoon desperate to write. Dogs walked; laundry done; ironing ignored for another day, I opened up WordPress and – nothing.  Not a single idea for the Little Bear Dog blog.

My creative writing teacher once told us the only way to overcome writer’s block was to write.  His was a generous take on the problem as he saw nothing wrong in including shopping lists in his suggested cure for the dreaded block.  I’ve not veered that far from the path today, but it has helped – I hope regular readers will forgive the digression.

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