5 Writing Lessons I Learned From the Cats

Melchior Demonstrates Proper Napping Technique

Miss Crankypants saw a blog post about “10 Writing Lessons I Learned from My Dog,” proving that dumb canines have a purpose after all. Immediately, Miss CP’s cats went on the offensive. Now these felines are pretty offensive most of the time, but they sensed that these “Lessons”called for a new strategy.
In the spirit of cat ladies everywhere, Miss Cranky offers
5 Writing Lessons She Learned from Her Cats.

  1. Don’t Send Editors Gifts as Bribes. Mama Mia! recently presented Miss CP with a dead mouse and was she grateful? Only grateful that the mousie was dead. Miss Crankypants once had a nearly-feral beast originally named Kitty who regularly left delicacies such as critter hearts and livers next to Mom’s bedroom slippers. It didn’t help Kitty one bit. Seriously, even the things we have sacrificed mightily to secure–such as mouse innards or bird’s feet–will not impress a good editor as much as a well-crafted sentence.
  2. In or Out! Don’t write the popular, write your passion! Writers, like cats, often sit on the fence regarding what kind of stuff they’ll write. Writers and cats want in, want out, want in, all day long. One day a writer will trot out the Great American Novel, only to be swayed by the idea of paying the rent on time by writing for “True Confessions.” Then, when archery skyrockets in popularity, they start scribbling the sequel to the Hunger Games.
  3. Race to the Top of the Tuna Dish. Speaking of hunger, cats and writers both seem to want to eat all day long. This is an important rule of both catdom and writerly pursuits. Writers and cats make excellent grazers, especially on dry, salty foods. Miss CP confesses that she has a penchant for pretzels while she writes. But the moment you put something healthful on the plate, kitties and writers are as finicky as Morris the Cat. Around Miss CP’s domicile, it’s called “SCHNUBBING.”
  4. Anything You Can Snub, I Can Snub Better. Cats and writers ought to have the best literary taste. Many writers schnub cutesy romances and naughty novels of the 50 Shades variety. Yet SOMEbody has to be buying these books! Miss Crankypants has it on good authority that cats are a salacious bunch who love to ogle a good tail. Judging from the stacks of “Playcat Magazine” she has confiscated and thrown out, writers everywhere should probably check under their cats’ beds for contraband.
  5. Sleep on it. Perhaps the best lesson any writer could learn from a cat is that the computer will still be there tomorrow. With at least one cat snoozing away on top of the keyboard. The publishing world is, as we speak, twirling down the drain anyway, so why bother? Miss Crankypants is glad to pass on this most important lesson for writers: Just take another nap. Let’s see a dog teach a writer that!

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

2 comments on “5 Writing Lessons I Learned From the Cats

    • Jenny you are totally welcome. My cats are criminals but I’d be so sad to lose one. They OWN me! Thanks for dropping by! ~Linda

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