What I Learned from my Dogs About Writing and Writers
Every day my dogs require that we do our pack walk around the neighborhood. They want to walk or trot together, but then they stop individually to sniff those
stinky wet compelling
sniff spots. They have slightly different tastes in smells (eew, that
came out weird), so some stops take longer than others—more to smell
read, I guess.
Those dogs that came before, tell my dogs things that only a dog would love, (sorry that was too good to pass up), and then they add their own
pee comments on top of the
really good ones of others. Sometimes they make their own statements and start
their own conversations and maybe brag a bit. It’s all part of the ritual
When my Buddy (Lhasa Apso with his summer cut) scratches the ground like a bull, I figure he’s proud of his last comment that topped some other dog’s previous comment. Maybe he said something really funny and is applauding himself, but probably not since he doesn't have a very good sense of humor--more the cuddly type.
When Milton (a Ratcha-that's a rat terrier/chihuahua mix) drags his feet in getting started on the walk, I have to pick him up and carry him until he warms to the idea (but his nose is in the air informing him of the latest news) until his curiosity gets the better of him and he wriggles to get down, closer to the action.
Observations on the walk: (You can make the analogies as writers)
- They are aware of and keep tabs on their pack mates even while they wander a bit on their own.
- They add notes of confidence when appropriate, to the 'writings' of others?
- They pace themselves.
My dogs have very different temperaments yet they pack together in a harmonious walk. (Even if they start off pulling in different directions, by the end of 15-20 minutes, they are in sync.) Are your
energies all going in the same direction in a harmonious 'walk', or is all the information out there pulling you
in different directions? Be a good pack leader and stay in control of your dogs energies.
Writers who stay current daily by reading the work of other writers (blogs, books, articles and social media) learn more quickly and improve their own work, inspire their own creativity and learn the latest in publishing. They support fellow writers.
Writers who pace themselves don't burn out.
Writers who pack together can learn and grow faster than going it alone—or, at the very least, have more fun:
- Critique partners that make constructive comments can accelerate your progress by giving you suggestions that you might not otherwise think of.
- Online social interactions with other writers glean valuable insights and help. They keep you centered from getting too far into your own head--which might be a very weird place (from some of the writers I know).
So take a lesson from the dogs and try commiserating with other writers.
Do you think writers are better as pack animals?
Do you learn from your pets? What?
Don't forget to visit other WANA writers who are writing today on the same theme of our favorite pets, real or imaginary: (some very creative blog posts)
(more links will be added as more of our WANA writers add their posts throughout the day)