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Writing Tip from Puppy: Take a Break



I learn a lot from my puppy. One of the things she’s teaching me is to take breaks, and I think it helps my writing.

 Frankie plays. She plays like it’s her job. Give her a wubba or a whiffle ball and watch out. Heaven help us if she gets her paws on a sock. She bolts around the backyard like a missile. Bushes are her hurdles. The patio furniture is her obstacle course. She’s totally in the zone, giving it her all and seeming super-happy. Then all at once, she races to the water bowl for a huge drink before collapsing for a nap. When she wakes up, she’s ready to play with the same amount of gusto as before.

My writing day is similar to the way Frankie plays. Since I only have quiet time to work while my boys are at school, I give it my all during those hours. Watch out! I’m in the zone and super-happy. Then all at once, my head hurts, my eyes glaze, and I’m writing a bunch of garbage. Maybe sitting for too long, staring at the screen, isn’t the best way to be creative. Thanks to Frankie, I am forced to take breaks now. We go for a walk or sit and snuggle or play in the yard. I feel better when I come back to the keyboard, even if I was only outside for ten minutes. After taking a walk, I race back to my manuscript because I suddenly have a shiny new idea. Even if I just leave my writing for a two-minute snuggle, I come back refreshed – ready to write with the same amount of gusto as before.

I’m going to take Frankie – and her wubba – outside right now. Watch out!

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