Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Finding a helpful distraction- one bunny at a time

Being a writer is hard. There is so much more than just writing. You are your own boss. You are your own business. And then add the other things in your life like caring for a toddler. Everyone is busy. Everyone has their thing holding them back. I’ve always heard people talking about taking up a hobby to relax and unwind. I secretly laughed at this because come on, when would I have time to do anything! I barely have time for church and that is very sad!

But things have a way of working out for the best. I now believe that it is vital to find something completely unrelated to writing and family needs to do. My “thing” found me. My dog found a nest of baby bunnies in our yard. I left them alone knowing that they were better off with their mom. However, over the days we started to notice the bunnies getting sickly. I laid out some food for the mother and the next morning it was untouched. Their nest was also untouched from the previous days. We began to suspect that they were abandoned and seeing the construction and burning that had picked up in our neighborhood it was believable. I called the zoo, the game commissioner and humane societies. I didn’t know what to do with baby bunnies but I didn’t want them to die either. I kept getting the same answer, “this is natures way of population control.” I actually had someone tell me to go dump them and end their suffering. I was appalled.

I was still on the fence about what to do when our first spring storm hit. It was bad and since our yard is on an incline there was a small stream that formed in our yard that mixed with mud creating a yucky natural paste. I thought I could go cover the bunnies with a bowl or something to shelter them. When I went outside in the storm to check on them I found that their nest was flooding. They were screaming. One was stuck in the sticky mud and was stretching to lift it’s head above water. It was horrible. I knew then that it was up to me to do something. Without their mother’s milk they may still die but I was not letting them die a horrible death in my yard.

I rushed to save them. They didn’t fight me. Instead they rushed to me when I started offering them aid. I had to dig the bunny out of the mud that was stuck and it wasn’t moving it’s back legs. I rushed the three of them inside and called the vet for instructions.

For the last week I’ve been bottle-feeding them every 3 hours. They are all thriving even the one who couldn’t move its legs. The vet determined that it was in hypothermic shock when I rescued it. Thanks to the use of some warm blankets and my messaging its legs it made it.

I’m on a strict deadline and just signed another contract. I’m also working hard on my fiction work all while continuing my freelance contracts. I take care of my 19-month-old daughter and teach workshops on how to be a writing mom and time management for the busy writer. I really don’t have time to be a bunny momma. However, these little bunnies have helped me in so many ways.

Despite the hard work to take care of them I’m seeing that they actually help my writing. I’m horrible at never turning my mind off but when I’m bottle-feeding the bunnies I have to focus completely on them. They can’t be fooled and do best with a calm environment. I turn on classical music for them and rock them to calm them until they will eat. It is soothing for both them and me. This new project of caring for them puts everything in perspective. So I’ve gotten a few rejections. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that I love what I’m doing. Just the simple act of calming down the bunnies calms me down and makes me a better writer.

Now I’m not suggesting that everyone goes out and saves the nearest orphaned animal. I am suggesting that you think about a non-work related hobby, Tackle a new project where you can completely separate your mind from writing. Take a break and fill fulfilled in another way.

I’m loving my little bunnies and the quiet time that we have together. This helps my writing and stress level in so many ways. What hobby have you taken on that has helped your writing and life?


  1. I love the bunny picture and know your little rabbits will love you back.

  2. This is so dead-on! I raise rare corals and seahorses in a 60-gallon aquarium that I keep in my writing office. Watching the seahorses definitely keeps me sane and improves my writing too!