You may find this as strange as I did when I first read it, but now that I’ve had time to digest it, it might actually make sense.
Jennifer Weiner has an advice for writers section of her website. I’m a sucker for that section of any published writer’s website. And I actually hope that some day I have a website with a section “for writers” that people like me will click on and find inspiration. But that’s neither here nor there.
In that glorious section of her website she lists several things that writers must do (or at least that she strongly suggests they do) in order to become a successful writer. Most are normal pieces of advice: have an unhappy child hood. have a miserable love life (check). major in liberal arts (check). get a job, not an MFA (checkity check times like 10). write to please yourself (check).
The next step had me pondering when I first read it: get a dog. At first when I read this, knowing Ms. Weiner’s sense of humor, I thought it was a joke. I thought she was just throwing something in there to see if we were paying attention. But then I got it.
In my new home, when I sit at my new desk to write, I’m surrounded by windows. I love the natural lighting, but I also love the people watching. I live (finally) in a neighborhood where people actually go for walks. And having sat here day after day for weeks now, I see the same people with the same dogs. Discipline. Doing something every single day whether you want to or not. Whether you’re sick or happy or sad or mad or hungry or bored or or or. That dog needs you. It needs you to take care of it, nurture it, feed it. Whether you want to or not. Makes perfect sense in the writing world. Sometimes, you just don’t wanna. You know, if you’re a writer, you’ve whined those words: “I just don’t wanna.” Get over it. The dog needs to be walked. :)
My advice for you? If I I’m in any position to give advice. Keep your nails super short. There is nothing more frustrating or distracting than trying to get through several pages of edits with your nails click clacking against the key board. Just my two cents.