10 Writing Lessons From a Dog

post by Michelle Griep

Her Royal Highness Princess Ada Clare

I took my dog to special ed class today. She muzzle-punched the instructor last week, so it’s rehab time. Apparently I have a knack for picking out special needs dogs. Because of this experience, I’ve learned a metric ton (which is equivalent to a crap load in laymen’s terms) about dog language. Interestingly, this translates well into writerly speak. What in the world am I talking about? And why do I get asked that question so many times a day? Listen up, because I think we can all learn a few lessons from my wild girl Ada Clare.

Writerly Lessons From A Boxer

Go wild off the leash.
Rules are great guidelines, but following them too strictly is like a choke chain and sucks the life out of your story.

Sniff. Sniff. Sniff.
Let your reader experience ALL five senses – in good ways and in bad.

Eat voraciously.
When you’re not writing, shove your fuzzy muzzle into a good read. The best writers are readers.

Let loose of your steaming piles of doo-doo.
Rejection stinks. Don’t hold onto it and take it personally. Step around the big, brown, nasty review/rejection piles and go on your merry way.

Stick your head out the window.
Life’s too short to get all bound up in comparing yourself to other writers. Let yourself be you, no matter if you look funny with wind in your jowls.

Naps are good.
Sometimes you just gotta take a break from writing. Live life a little. Those experiences will make for richer stories in the future.

Every now and then, throw a diversion into your story. Something unexpected, even for you. It keeps you on your toes and delights a reader.

It’s all about the treats.
What’s your motivator? Dark chocolate? Java? A new pair of shoes? Set your word goals and when you meet them, reward yourself.

Take a walk.
No, really. Get outside and take a walk. I don’t care if it’s snowing. Put your dang boots on and exercise.

Lay down at the Master’s feet.
What are you so amped up about? God’s in charge of your writing journey. Rest in that truth.

Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.