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Bonus Post: What Writers Can Learn From Cats

Photo Courtesy: I Can Haz A Cheezeburger

I use to think that the only reason God made cats is to play practical jokes on.

Anything from putting tape on their paws, tying a bag on their tails, or letting them chase a laser light…ah, good times.Of course, I never did these things as a child.  No cats in our hood.  I take that back.  There was a cat woman named Mrs. Robinson.  She had over, like, 10 billion cats in her quaint home.

As much as I don’t want to admit this, cats can teach us valuable lessons to apply to our h3roic journey to become better writers.

No, I don’t mean sniffing catnip, rolling around in kitty litter, or sitting in window sills.  Cats offer rock-solid lessons that can only come from one of God’s creations.

Let’s look at 9 ways a cat can teach us about writing:

1. Cats are curious – There is rarely a day where cats do not show curiosity.  If some thing catches their eye, they will investigate to find out if they can either eat, attack, or mark it.

a. (Writer’s lesson): Never stop being curious about life.  Never be afraid to challenge the norm.  Be brave and challenge assumptions. Keep asking the question “Why?” when presented with new information (even while reading this post).

2. Cats snooze – The hilarious comics about Garfield mirror reality.  Cats sleep a lot.  A cat will plop down and catch a few Zzzs before going about their day. They do not discriminate at all about what time to konk out.  If they need to sleep, plop, they are out.

a. (Writer’s lesson): As a writer, you can easily burn out.  Work.  Family.  Extra activities.  All of these matters can wear on you (especially when you want to write yet life gets in the way).  Learn from the cat and learn to rest when you need to.  Cat naps are wonderful (20 to 25 minutes).

3. Cats leave their mark – In my day job, I am blessed to work from home answering calls for a company.  Once in a while, I will spy a grey tabby go out to sniff cars (no, you don’t need to do this) and only if the coast is clear, the cat will mark the car to let other felines know the territory belongs to them.

a. (Writer’s lesson): You leave your mark every time you blog, write a story, or comment on blogs.  Make sure you are leaving the type of image that reflects the right one.  You may be leaving your mark for a future fan.

4. Cats have many forms of communication – Did you know that cats can communicate through purring, trilling, hissing, growling, snarling and several different forms of meowing?  Each form expresses what they want to convey at any time.

a. (Writer’s lesson): What forms of communication are you expressing yourself on?  Do you only have a blog?  Are you on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Slideshare; YouTube; Ning; Squidoo; Tumblr; Bebo; Orkut?  How about forums?  Be like the cat and get your message out in various ways.

5. Cats give nose touches – Felines will use nose touching as a way to greet others – a sign of their social ability.

a. (Writer’s lesson): A writer can touch readers in a special way through their writing.  How are you making sure that your writing leaves that special touch?  Do readers state how much your writing has touched them?  If yes, why?  If not, why?

6. Cats spend time grooming – Cats will meticulously make sure they are clean and keep their appearance up.

a. (Writer’s lesson): You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Everything you produce must show excellence in appearance.  Don’t skimp on editing your work in any medium you display yourself.  Spell check.  Edit.  Read out loud your work to catch mistakes.

7. Cats fight hard – Have you ever heard the types of battle royales cats have in the summer evening hours?  They probably hit each other with steel chairs, ram each other into steel cages, and come off the top rope with flying body splashes.

a. (Writer’s lesson): Does your writing have fiery passion and fierceness?  Do you make blog posts that make a stand or are they spineless?  Stop making lethargic writing and start making your writing bolder.  Tackle the controversial.

8. Cats have odd habits – Some cats are real characters.  They are unpredictable. Some cats will play with the toilet bowl water.  Some will eat the electrical cords. Some will jump inside of boxes for fun.

a. (Writer’s lesson): Your habits will either help or hinder your career.  If your odd habits (e.g. watching too much t.v., spending hours on Facebook, looking at the latest YouTube videos) are holding you back then just how much are you willing to sacrifice to succeed?  What is the priority?

9. Cats love to play – Who hasn’t taken a piece of string then torment the poor kitten into an exhausted blob of fur and feet?  Play is training in disguise to help develop their feline skills.

a. (Writer’s lesson): Never forget to make time for play even as an adult. Play opens up your creativity and helps break open the sleeping dam of ideas to flood in.  How can you integrate your playtime with your writing?

What about you?

What are some more lessons from cats that you have learned that you can apply to your writing if you thought about it?

P.S. What is your favorite feline character in fiction?

Special Thanks to Best Blogging Tips Online.com for the idea for this post!

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2 thoughts on “Bonus Post: What Writers Can Learn From Cats

  1. As the owner of two cats (or maybe it’s the other way around), I’ve learned to go with flow. When it’s bright and sunny outside, my cats are more industrious, when it’s rainy and cold, they curl up in front of the fire. They roll with punches and do their thing. Writers can do that too by not getting too excited about things that outside of their control.

    I’d noticed that whenever I mentioned a pet in a story, it tended to be a cat, so in my current WIP, I decided to make a cat a minor character (he’s actually the one that gets the H/h together.

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