More Things I’ve Learned About Writing From my Pug
Be Zen. Wherever you go, there you are. If Pug (and it is so funny to me that people routinely refer to their pugs as Pug or The Pug, when we don’t, say, call golden retrievers The Golden or The Retriever) is sleeping, he is sleeping. If he is sitting with the family, he is sitting with the family, and it is the best thing ever. He is always fully present, always happy to be doing whatever he finds himself doing. It is good to emulate this with writing. When you are writing, be mindful only of writing. Don’t be wondering in the back of your head if you should head on over to A Socialite’s Life to find out the latest news on Britney. And don’t go checking email every two seconds. Be like Pug. Be happy where you are, which is in the middle of writing.
Don’t go outside unless you have to. I wrote in a previous post about Igor how he has amazing bladder control. If it is rainy outside, he just prefers not to go out and pee. This is excellent advice for writers, translated to–don’t stop writing unless you absolutely have to. Absolutely having to equates a major disaster. An earthquake qualifies. A hurricane does, too. Your child whining for lunch does not. I don’t care if he’s only two and not capable of fixing it himself. Okay, okay, I guess the child thing does qualify. But all the other reasons we convince ourselves to stop writing–like the above-mentioned checking of emails or reading of gossip blogs–do not count. Be like Pug. Don’t go out. Keep writing.
If all else fails, sleep. Pugs are prodigious sleepers. Igor’s previous favorite place to sleep was on the warm furry rug in the bathroom, but now he has a far better spot–he likes to smoosh himself into an indentation he’s made atop Clothes Mountain in my son’s room. (Lewis is getting his Master’s in Math, he doesn’t have time to do laundry. Or even think about such earthly concerns.) For writers, sometimes sleeping is just what the Pug ordered. Your subconscious sorts itself out while you sleep. And that includes naps. Be like Pug. Embrace sleep. The very best thing to do is to read a few pages of your story or whatever you are working on before you go to sleep. You’ll be amazed at what your mind will come up with. I wrote a post about this when I first started blogging, and you can read it here. This post includes a bonus photo of the Pug himself.
That is it for now, as it is Christmas time, in case you hadn’t noticed, and besides the endless book I am writing and all the other work I am doing, I do have to shop and wrap presents and cook. And, by the way, the number one thing on my Christmas list this year is that cute purple Polaroid digital camera, so I can actually take pictures for my blog.