How do I write thee? Let me count the ways. I want to share a secret with you. I’m coming out of the closet. I secretly write Bios. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I got called into service to photograph dogs at the BARC animal shelter. At the time, they had someone writing Bios for the dogs so people looking at them online would know what to expect when they come meet the animals. But that person left and the Bios were no longer getting written.
At first, I thought: Bad idea. Don’t do it. You don’t need the extra work. But after I thought about it, I decided why not? I could make it fun, it would help the dogs, and how hard could it be?
Well, it was harder than I thought. I found out that not only do you have to be careful with what you write (because some folks walk around looking for ways to get offended) but you have to write something that grabs people by the short and curlies (see what I did there – sorry if that offends you) to get them in the door to check out the high quality second hand dogs.
Well, that’s all it took for me. I made a game out of it. Not only did it turn out to be a labor of love, it turned out to be a load of fun. And you know what else? It turned out that it kept my mind very active, made me more creative (and really, who doesn’t want that?), and vastly improved my writing skills. Hell, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner.
The best thing is I don’t even have to use a pen name. It’s anonymous so if someone doesn’t like it, I just shrug my shoulders, roll my eyes, and wonder with everyone else who the hell wrote this. It’s the best of both worlds. One time someone got offended when I wrote about a big, beautiful, black Labrador. I wrote that he was a Triple B: big, black, and beautiful. Someone exclaimed that they couldn’t believe anyone would write such a thing! How awful. I told them the dog was black and black is just a color but they “convinced” me that the person who wrote it must be a racist. I told them I changed my mind and I totally agreed. I’ll admit, I was laughing inside – a little. I mean, it is just a color describing a dog’s coat.
But there are most of the other times where no one gets offended. Like the dog Boston, when I wrote: It’s more than a feeling when you come see this girl. Or they call him Bandit because he’ll steal your heart. Or for Cleo: You won’t need Miss Cleo to see this girl will be in your future. Or how Niles has one of the most fabulous smiles. Or Maxine, Maxine, prettiest girl I’ve ever seen. Or Holly: Good golly Miss Holly is so great. Of course there’s Chuck: Want good luck? Come rescue Chuck. Or Rover: Red Rover, Red Rover, let this guy come over (and stay). Or the classic: Don’t be a zero, come rescue Nero. You get the gist of it.
It really surprised me how many people were drawn in by my “anonymous” Bios. People walked in with printed copies asking for those particular dogs. I would have never guessed. And it truly helps my writing. If you ever have an inkling to write Bios, just let me know. It’s not really work when love what you’re doing. And it’s a win – win when you help a dog out (by saving a life) and improve your creativity and writing skills. I’ll admit I may have stolen a little of my knowledge from Austin Kleon’s Steal Like An Artist.
Oh, did you want to come check out Madonna? She may be a material girl but all she really wants is a human to call her own.
Just think of me as Dear Abby for dogs. And I’m not a qualified therapist but I did save a lot of money with Geico Insurance and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. Try becoming a Bio Writer. You may just like it and you just may turn into that writer you’ve always wanted to become.