Boots jan11-2014                           

Everyday my cats teach me something about the writing life through their own brand of Olympics. Here’s a list…. 

Patience EventHave 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.   

Boots             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.

                       Neo asleep                          

          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?





13 Mar 2014

FOCUS – Do You Have It?

Have you found yourself wondering whether you have ADHD? Can you sit still and focus on your words without hopping over to the internet and back? Lately, I’m hearing all kinds of complaints about the lack of Focus– the dreaded word that every writer craves.

Focus is a concentrated effort or attention on a particular thing; an area of concern, responsibility, or investigation; the quality that makes an image sharply defined with clear edges and contrast.

Writers need FOCUS to let their creativity loose. We need words on the page to edit a story into a sale. But in today’s world, there are so many distractions and drains on our lives. We’re ruled by technology and while the techno age is welcoming to some, it can be hazardous to a writer’s business – words.

There are many focus drains within the time we allot to our writing —

Social media – Facebook, Email, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google and more

Research—all internet based versus leaving home for a library visit, phone calls, DVDs

Noise—radio; MP3 music; e-books, television, computer video ads

Distractions can be phone calls, television, Mp3s and cellphones.

Add in LIFE, which is family, pets, weather, technology, age, more…NOISE. Noise that robs us of the mental peace we need to write.

Writers write. With the current changes in the publishing industry, we are now faced with possibly being our own publishing company. We have to use the left brain activities of editing, writing blurbs, reviewing, deciding on book covers, formatting and on and on.  Our poor right brain, which helps us imagine our stories, refuses to play anymore.

Endless chatter without substance is killing our lives. Some of us can handle a power outage, can you? Some don’t know what to do without technology and technology runs on power.

Ultimately, we must connect to what matters most.  As a writer, it’s your stories. What drains your focus? Makes you crazy? Robs your attention from your writing? Do you need to unplug?

To help in recovery, go here to get started…

13 Mar 2014

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