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The importance of sleep


Neo sleepingCats sleep. A lot! They don’t waste valuable snooze time debating what else they should be doing instead.


How often have I been struggling with a plot point, or floundering in a sea of ideas, unable to decide which way to go? Instead of staying up half the night, beating my head against the keyboard, far better to get some sleep. I wake up refreshed and ready to face my manuscript – and usually with a much clearer idea of direction.




The importance of food


Cats are fussy about what they eat, everyone knows that. They don’t want cheap tins, or low-rate kibble, if premium chicken or fish is an option. Would you? I feed them good quality meals, and they are bright-eyed, and happy.


2014_04_27 - Treacle and PinkyWhen I’m under pressure with a story, writing every spare minute – and losing entire weekends – there’s a huge temptation to just snack. Lunch becomes a bag of corn chips and a 2-day old muffin, because I don’t want to waste ten minutes of my valuable break to get anything better. And yet, walking away from my laptop for ten minutes is a much better prospect. I get some fresh air. I move around. I pick up something not only better from a nutrition perspective, but more satisfying to eat, and I return to my story ready to bash out the words.




The importance of play


IMG_2771Our tribe of 5 adult cats has been expanded to include a 12-week old kitten. The grown up cats are no longer safe. A small, stripy kitten is liable to hurtle at them like a furry missile, pouncing on their tail, or trying to bowl them over. If she runs hard enough, she can do it.


And like all small children, she plays. Catnip mice, slippers, paper bags, brushes, curtains… anything might be a toy, and everything is of interest. It reminds me to open my eyes to possibilities, as well as enabling my characters to play. I try to write three-dimensional characters, and if they were real people, they’d have interests outside of the story. They’d laugh, and talk, and play, in and out of the bedroom.


You might wonder if this entire post was just a thinly veiled excuse to show lots of cute cat pictures… and you might be right. I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

So tell me, what have your pets taught you?


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