Thursday, October 8, 2015

Bonus Post: Lessons from my Dog

Dogs are great. As you've probably noticed by now, I'm a little obsessed with them. I'm also missing my three dogs now that I'm off at college (having dogs in the dorms is more than a little frowned upon). So I needed a dog post in my life! (No worries; I'm going to relate it all back to writing).

1. Dogs love routine. If we skip our morning walk, Charlie gets super cranky with me and acts like I'm not there. Having to walk him every morning keeps me in shape and gives us a little time together.

It's important to develop a writing routine. It gives you time with your characters and keeps your writing muscles in shape. No, I'm not talking about the finger muscles you use for typing--I'm talking about your sheer determination to plow through, even when plagued by writer's block and the skills you need to keep your writing polished.

2. Dogs like to hang out together. They're always excited to meet new friends and enjoy some time playing with them. You always have some dogs that don't like to do this, but as a general rule, they like to stick together in groups (or adopt human families as their packs).

Similarly, it's good to find writing friends, even if you can't hang out in person. Find someone to sharpen your skills and encourage you when you're stuck. Better yet--find a critique partner!

3. Dogs are always excited to eat. Or at least my beast of a dog is. He hears the food bowl clank and he immediately starts slobbering waterfalls and jumping around. It's pretty much his favorite time of day--I think it even outranks our morning walk.

We should also be hungry for writerly food. Novels in the genres we write in are an excellent place to start; books on writing and blogs about writing should also make a good portion of our "diets." It gives us the strength to build our writing muscles.

Have you ever learned lessons from odd places? What areas are your strongest as a writer? 

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