Yes, I’m going there. I’m comparing writers, including myself, to dogs. But in my household you are LUCKY to be compared to our dog Oscar. He has a tough life of lounging on our Tempurpedic bed, taking up over half the couch to watch television and following our daughter around picking up her dropped gold fish snacks. It is good to be Oscar. And if I had a dime for every kiss he got on his head top, then I’d never have to stress about my college loans again!
Oscar is a spoiled and loved dog but he is also a well-trained dog that thrives on routine. February is National Dog Training Month and if you break it down, writers can learn so much from well-trained dogs.
1. Discipline- All good dogs understand discipline just all writers understand what they must do to reach their goals.
2. Purpose- Your dog has a purpose. It may vary for some. Oscar is a Mommy’s boy. If I move to another room, he will follow.
Writers should know their purpose and mission as to why they write. I write because I love it. Even when it’s not relaxing, just the idea that the world I’m building or the information I’m assembling will give someone joy someday is enough to make me happy.
3. Consequences- A well-trained dog understands consequences. If Oscar chews on one of my daughter’s toys, then he knows that he will get kenneled for his behavior. If I don’t reach my daily goal then I know that I will get locked up in a dungeon—Just kidding! But if I don’t meet my writing goals then I know that I’m holding myself back from my bigger goals and own potential.
4. But the main thing, Routine- Dog’s all driven by routine. On my Special Needs Dog Care Examiner column as well as my book, “Caring for Your Special Needs Dogs” I spoke about the importance of maintaining your dog’s routine especially during a major change. By doing so you can ease some of their stress and even help prevent an increase of symptoms if they are a special needs dog. I’m a HUGE believer in routine.
Now, I can only control routine to certain degree since I do care for my toddler and every writer is different. We all have our “something” that makes writing a challenge. But because of this I get up every morning at 4:30am. I start my day with a thirty-minute yoga session and then write until I need to shower just before she wakes up. Having this set time helps me feel accomplished no matter what craziness my day brings. I also end my day by reading what I wrote that day before going to sleep. Again, another routine that I can control.
Writing doesn’t have to be rocket science. It is simple and the more consistent we make things for ourselves (like the consistency of your dog’s commands) the more routine our words and inspirations will become.
I feel the need to dedicate this post to my Oscar who always is by my side while I write. He does serve as a helpful companion whenever I hit a wall on a scene.
How importance is routine in your writing routine?
Some blog love to:
Writing lessons from The Hunger Games: Stakes and Characterization by Adventures in YA and Children’s Publishing
Roses are Red by Author Colin Falconer
Bracing for impact- The future of big publishing in the new paradigm by Author Kristen Lamb
February is National Dog Training Month. For helpful tips on training the furry friends in your life follow my Examiner column, Special Needs Dog Care.
I will be teaching another class of my Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind Write It Forward Workshop this March. It is a month long workshop focused on busy writing moms, something I know a lot about. Click here for more information.
My book, Caring for Your Special Needs Dog is out and a percentage of the profits go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine.