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Poor John Grogan: he had no blog

By December 27, 2008Blogging, News

Warning: spoiler alert, though, come on, it’s obvious.

On Christmas afternoon, I went to see Marley & Me, the screen adaptation of John Grogan‘s memoir about his insane yellow lab and his life as a journalist. I loved the book, loved the writing, loved his dog (because I love mine.)

But, as I watched, I got stuck on something non-doggish. Grogan, who started as a reporter, was soon pigeonholed as a columnist – because he was really good at it. And, it, in this case was humorously documenting his life, his dog, his family and his community on a ongoing, regular basis to a wide, growing and devoted audience.

At one point, he left his column to try to be a reporter, again. But, he couldn’t take himself out of his articles. He pitched a column again. At home, he had an album full of his columns, cut out from the paper and pasted in…

And all I could think about was that he was a born blogger.

Ninety-nine percent of my tears were because the dog died (that’s the spoiler, but not really, it’s obvious and was in the book). There were so many tears because I’ve lost a yellow lab and it was like losing an arm – and because I do my best crying during movies.

The remaining percent of the tears goes to the tragedy of  John Grogan not having a blog during the beginning of his journey as a writer. Let me repub this part:

Humorously documenting his life, his dog, his family and his community on a ongoing, regular basis to a wide, growing and devoted audience.

Thankfully, blogs were eventually created…thankfully, John Grogan has his own blog today. I came right home to find it, and I was correct: he’s really good at it.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • --Deb says:

    Ah, but the other question is, does he get paid more? or less? to write columns than he would to write a blog? And, if he’d been blogging Marley’s life, would it have become a hugely popular book and movie?

  • Julie Wright says:

    So, how long until he does start blogging? And what happens to so-so bloggers when brilliant columnists take to blogging? A migration is in the works. I just noticed that my favorite newspaper columnist’s online column now has his contact info at the top and not buried at the bottom. Makes me conclude two things: 1) the paper wants to encourage vs discourage conversations with its writers and readers, 2) with falling readership, this is intended to strengthen reader loyalty by ‘engaging’ them much in the same way blogging and social media engages. Interesting times!

    … As for Marley & Me? Loved the book and will definitely see the video when it comes out. I just hope that the film lives up to the book’s sweetness. (I love my yellow lab — she’s curled up by the door right now wondering why I haven’t taken her out for a walk!)

    Cheers @writingroads!

  • Laurie says:

    Thanks for pointing out Grogan’s blog – I just subscribed! And to Deb – do you think money is the only thing, really? It is what it is and I’m glad he is a blogger now and plenty of bloggers have gone on to write books because of their blogging. There are an awful lot of people out there who will read a book by a blogger who DON’T read blogs after all.

  • Julie Roads says:

    I love the comments so far…
    I agree it’s not all about money…still, the odds of developing a huge audience that knows and loves you, and is then excited to read your book and see your movie, dramatically increases when you’re blogging as opposed to writing a column for a Florida or Philly Newspaper.

    You can also test on your blog and really develop a relationship with your readers because of the comment feature…

  • caryl kerns says:

    the movie definitely hit a chord for me…couldn’t help but love it, especially since I adore my two yellow labs unconditionally. Don’t know if Ron shared the news, but Bailey was recently diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma; so doing my best to 1) make his life as wonderful as always, 2) spending 90% of the time in chronic denial 3) working with holistic vet to search for a miracle

  • --Deb says:

    No, of course money isn’t the only thing. (If it were, I wouldn’t be blogging at all!) Just … if you grow up as a journalist and someone offers you a column in a newspaper, even though it might more or less be the same thing as a “blog,” you might not think of it it way. You might just think that one is a hobby, one is a job … you know, if nobody points out that they can be BOTH!

  • Donna says:

    I just mentioned Marley & Me on my blog too… it was a good movie but WOW did I cry! I thought the same thing… he needs a blog!

  • Kristina says:

    I went to see Marley & Me two days ago after I got done work with my friend…and boy was it hard for me to see dog (not a lab) is really old and he’s been having trouble and he might go at anytime..he’s been having many seizures and my family and I are just waiting for that horrible day where we might have to put him down. You know that part in the movie where he’s walking up that hill and gots the field all around it and he asaks his dog to let him know when he’s ready to go, cause he being a person won’t know? Well I ask my dog all the time to find a way to tell one of us when he’s ready. There’s no way we will be ready, b ut we just hope that he can find a way to tell us, cause we’ve had him for 14 yrs and its just a horrible thought to wake up one day and think that he might not have made it through the night.. I love my dog…may he servive many more years..he’s made it this far and no one inmy family is ready for this.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Kristina…my heart goes out to you. What a lucky dog you have that he has a family that loves you so. Our time with our pets of so beyond special…

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