Writing is rarely a team sport but …
January 26, 2009 § 12 Comments
So there you are at the desk. You’ve finally nailed yourself to your seat, turned off everything in the house that rings, buzzes, vibrates, dings, chirps, chirrups or beeps, and you are writing, or, about to.
It’s so quiet. It’s sort of lonely but you can’t complain. Writing is not exactly a team sport and you just have to dip into it and get going. If only, though …
And then you look down. What is that? You’re suddenly aware of a warm spot on your ankle, a steamy kind of warmth. And there’s your dog (or cat.) Asleep. With his nose not even an inch from your bare foot. Trusting that you will be in that chair for more than a minute, he’s totally conked out, and the little in-outs of his breathing help to hold you there, in your seat. Oh, partly because he’s cute. But overall, because he wants, in his dream time, to be near you, to keep track of where you are.
He can give the cold shoulder better than any Brit, he has perfected it, actually, and will sometimes hop right out of your reach. But he’s sleep-dreaming now, miles away and over the moors, leaping after rabbits and ramming about with a pack of his beagle-y peers. His lips twitch. His ears wiggle. He sleeps and keeps running.
Minutes ago, he was in full sun but it’s moving across the room. If he wakes, or opens one eye and notices, or if he moves a little and feels a chill, he’ll push himself forward into the sunlight. No, he won’t get up; he’ll just scoot with his hind legs ’til he’s back in the warm. Then he’ll look up to see if I’m still in the chair, working quietly and not planning to turn on the vacuum cleaner or anything else that will have him hysterical on a sunny afternoon. And just like that, he’ll go right back to softsnoring.
Pets are good great for writers. Their animal vocabulary is limited to the only thing a writer needs: love and constant quiet support.
Besides pen and paper then, a writer needs a pet.