Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How I Chose My Writer's Platform.

 

Writer With Dogs. Every writer needs a brand - so we are told.  My brand is six rescue dogs that rescued me. After the sixth dog came into my life and my house, and friends started to think being a widow had made me crazier than a loon, I needed to find an excuse that made sense to those who decided I'd tipped off the edge. It came to me one night sitting at the computer, scratching what I hoped was a mosquito bite, not a flea bite (With a house full of dogs - mosquitos are more desirable than fleas - right? You can swat a mosquito, with fleas . . . it's never ending, flea meds, pest control, and the most dreaded word of all  . . . infestation.) In the middle of trying to work on my widow memoir (back in the early days of being on my own) it came to me. I was a writer with dogs, too many according to some folks, but for me - a reason to live and love. My six foot seven husband, rest his soul, believed a household should only have one dog. I believe you can't put a limit on dog love. So that year I became Writer With Dogs. I bought the domain name (dot.com and dot.net, can't be too careful) and 500 business cards with my new 'brand'. 


My first card with my dear Foxy Barth in the center, Annabelle in the lower corner, Bray in the top right corner. They looked so cute wanting in the house I photographed them. All three had chapters in my widow memoir.


I took it a step further too. A slogan. I love my Margaritas, but I live with a six-pack at home. I tossed that phrase around as I slurped my salt-rimmed drink at happy-hour.  It made its way to my website too.

Armed and dangerous, I waited for the next new person I met to give me the evil eye when I spoke of my dogs. It happened within a week. It was at a social hour at a local business meeting. People talked about their children, I spoke of my dogs. All went well until I was asked, "How many dogs do you have?"

"Six." I beamed.

That look again. Crazy lady. Not even, Crazy Dog Lady. I was prepared.

I whipped out my business card. Writer With Dogs. I smiled (perhaps a bit of a self- serving smile) and handed out my newly printed works of art.

In that instant it was clear to me, people understood writing about your dogs more than living with that many. The rest was easy-peasy.

Of course, my Margarita slogan was something I had to deal with a few years ago, when it was time for Foxy to move on to doggie heaven. In the middle of my grief I realized my six-pack now only held five dogs. That would not work. I found Bertha Barth on Facebook and quickly dashed to Animal Control to make her mine. I was in sync again.

I also needed a new business card - and went with whimsy this time.  I loved the stock image I found online.

 

I have too many dogs, just as I have too many websites, and too many blogs.  Sometimes I wonder if I should reel it in - one website, one blog, but then I know that's not me. I work best in multiples. Six dogs, four or five web domains, and an embarrassing amount of blogs. Writing blogs, antique blogs, house blogs, and blogs that feature books by other authors. The one commonality - I tweet it all under my twitter name, you guessed it @writerwithdogs.

Six dogs is really not too many. I know people who have more. It is a whopping amount of dogs for a single gal who lives alone.  I don't travel, I rarely have company,  getting sick is a nightmare, and I have yet to find a male who thinks it's great I have a six-pack at home. Beer yes, dogs no.  So for me my dogs are my platform, yes, but they have also defined how I live my life. A trade off I wouldn't trade for any other lifestyle.

Not to try to hog the limelight that I am the only writer with dogs. I am just the one who bought the dot.com. Many other authors have dogs as their platform, or dogs that influence their writing, or just plain like to sit at the computer with friendly Fido close by. I have been blessed to meet so many great writers who are kindred dog spirits.

As my writing contacts grew, so did my big ideas. I decided to take my Writer With Dogs blog and turn it into a forum for writers to talk about their dogs.



Writer With Dogs blog - Share Your Stories
 
 
Of all my blogs, Writer With Dogs is my favorite. It is not about me, it is all about sharing dog stories and meeting new authors. Some of my favorite dog writers have been featured there.  I am always looking for new authors to post, so if you have a dog (sometimes a cat has wormed its way in) and write, you might be perfect for a guest spot.

I love dogs, I love books, I love meeting new authors. My brand covers all the bases for me.  It doesn't get any better than that for a gal who named herself Writer With Dogs as she worked on a widow memoir. One world closed and another opened up.

Contact me if you'd like to share your dog story!



This post is being shared on Julie Valerie's Blog Hop for the week of October 29 - Nov 5. Want to join the party and have some fun, meet new authors. Click on the link below the image and off you go!

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