Getting Ready for #BarkWorld!

As you read this I am on my way from little Halifax, Nova Scotia to the very big Atlanta, Georgia to attend my very first blogging conference. Hopefully I’ve made it through customs in Toronto without too many tears. Maybe I am desperately searching for my contact picking me up at the airport. Perhaps I am sitting in my hotel room wondering what the heck I’m going to do now.

I think I am ready. I’d better be ready.

It seems crazy to me that I can even type these words. When I started writing – or ranting – about Shiva two and a half years ago I never expected an opportunity like this one would ever occur. It was all a lark. Something to do to pass the time. A way to share pictures. I didn’t even tell my mom about it. It’s been a weird and wonderful turn of events. Of course, I owe it all to you, the people who show up to read about our misadventures on a daily basis. Without you I wouldn’t be sitting here inwardly panicking about all the packing I have left. I’d probably be sleeping or reading some boring, pretentious, non-dog-related novel.

The mind. It boggles.

Blogging has become such a central part of my life now and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to give it up. Even if BarkWorld is my first and last big event, the act of writing my thoughts and sharing them with others is just second nature. I can’t lie, I’ve thought about giving it up. There have been days when I question why I am even here. Sometimes I tell myself I am going to take a break. Talk less, listen more. But the next day I find myself at my computer again, itching to connect with others who get it.

Because it’s not just about me and Shiva anymore. It’s about you and everyone else who cares so much about their pets they share all their cute stories online.

This week I received my information for the Social Petworking Offline session. The anxiety built in my stomach when I found out I’d have to give a brief presentation about what my website and what it is I am doing here. My mind emptied and my breath caught. I can’t do this, I thought. This is too much.

Luckily my PH was around to talk some sense into me. He asked some practical questions that got me thinking about this space in a way I haven’t before. That’s when it came to me.

From the outside it looks like I write a blog about my relationship with my crazy rescue dog. If one looks closer, she will see it is so much more than that. It has become almost a community of people who give up their time to provide support and encouragement to those they have never met. It is an ongoing conversation between strangers who know nothing about one another, other than their mutual love of animals. It is a space where I can be vulnerable and where I hope others can too. In a difficult and challenging world, it is a source of humour, kindness, and positivity.

This is what it is for me. My goal for this site is to continue helping others and to keep learning how to be a better dog owner, a better person, from all of you.

Is that too sappy for an elevator pitch? I guess I’ll find out.

Wish me luck! If you are going, maybe I will see you there!

16 thoughts on “Getting Ready for #BarkWorld!

  1. I think it’s a perfect elevator pitch Kristine.

    I’ve been trying to pin my pitch down for a while now, it’s so hard to put into words just exactly what blogging is about. How connected you can feel to someone you have never met. The emotions, caring and sense of community that belongs with blogging. The thing is, when you’re passionate about something, it can’t help but shine through.

    You’ll be wonderful at BarkWorld, I wish I was there to watch you shine.

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  2. Hi Kristine!!
    So looking forward to meeting you at Barkworld! This will be my 4th blogging conference and I’d love to introduce you to lots of peeps and hang out. We’ll be the two Canadian representatives! (I’m from Vernon, BC)
    See you soon! (My twitter name is @thepetbooklady so I’ll look for your tweets)
    Lisa

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  3. See? Lisa already commented she’d be on the look out for you, so at least you know you won’t be all alone. I know you are going to have a better time than you think so right now. Sure, there may be some anxiety – but that comes with all new experiences. Have fun and we look forward to hearing all about it when you return!

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  4. It sure sounds like you are blogging for all the right reasons, and I love how your blog evolved to take you where you are today. Me, I just blog cause my peoples suck at it.

    Hope you have a fun time at the conference!!

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  5. You’ll do great, and I am betting you’ll come home with all kinds of new ideas for what you want to do! I hope you have a fantastic time and that everything is even better than you expect. I’m like you in the respect that I keep coming back to blogging because of the community feeling I have with it. I feel like the people I know online often understand me much better than those who know me in real life.

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  6. I’m so excited for you and I know you are going to do great!! You are so great at sharing your stories in an interesting and honest way, I’m always eager to read your posts. I think you are so deserving of this trip and I can’t wait to see what you learn!! Have fun, take deep breaths, and be yourself – you rock!!!

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  7. I love this post! Kristen it is so cool that you are going to Barkworld, even though I don’t know what it is. But I hope you have a great time and enjoy yourself. I think you summed up how I feel about blogging and probably many others. I can’t imagine not coming here to this place of dog bloggers and just talking dog with others who get it.

    Thanks for all you do. Have a great time!!

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  8. I hope everything went well at the speed dating session. We were there too and got to meet some great brands. We’ll see you at the sessions later today!

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  9. I agree with others, the pitch is perfect! And you are so absolutely right about the strong sense of community fostered by bloggers — especially pet bloggers 🙂 — that means so much. Can’t wait to hear about your experience at the conference!

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