Everyday my cats teach me something about the writing life through their own brand of Olympics. Here’s a list….
Patience Event— Have you ever noticed how a cat can sit and stare at the same spot for a long time? They can stare at the bird feeders and hope for a bird. They’re willing to sit still as if they were frozen when a curious bug crosses their paths. We can all learn from them. Writing is at times an angst ridden chore of “what ifs”. If we practice the sit and stare we can usually decide and move forward.
Cat Leap Event — They are master hunters, so any movement is an exercise in agility. How high, how far and how successful are they at capturing the prey—my foot. It’s humorous to watch Boots, our 9lb cat arc across a king size bed to land on my foot. I often wonder if she’ll sail over the side. At a mere 5lbs, Neo has mastered cat leap events as a game. He’s fast, has an eagle-eye and uses all four legs to make sure his prey isn’t leaving the bed. Meanwhile, my foot, trampled, grabbed, clawed and chewed, was thankful for a thick blanket. When writers tackle a new project, they feel trampled, pummeled, clawed and chewed up. A little agility and risk usually solves the fear involved in seeing a blank page. Exercise provides a clear mind to solve any pesky plot issues.
Relaxation Event— Cats nap. Sometimes they insist on a nice warm lap for their respite and when that is not available, they resort to furniture. Whether the cat condo or the reader recliner, their artistic side prevails. Writers have the liberty to work long hours, but it takes a toll. Cats have the right idea. A few naps along the way, some added stretches and an hour later, we’re good to go. Back to the words shaping up as we move forward.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort on our part to stimulate the imagination. While I’d love to join my cats basking in the sun, rolling on the floor tossing around a toy mouse and stretching my body, I must sneak off to write while they’re relaxing. How do you offer your body a breather so that you can continue writing?