Six Ways Pets Improve Your Writing

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Every superhero has a sidekick. Every motorcycle has its sidecar. And every (animal loving) writer has his or her furry companion. Our pets bring us endless hours of joy and comfort in the funniest of ways—and even sometimes help us write. Their professional assistance is very cute, even though it’s not always appreciated. To honor their hard work and dedication, we as authors should take these 540 words to tell the world just how much our animals serve our craft.


They will give you tons of good ideas while you're writing

Those constant barks and meows aren't cries for attention. Your pet is really just providing their input in the best way they know how. And if that input begins to get as crazy as a drunken man's rants, just feed them some peanut butter to glue their mouth shut.

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They will keep your keyboard warm for you while you're away

I know what you're thinking: "Cats gravitate toward warm places." You couldn't be more wrong. Little Bootsie is actually lying across your computer so your fingers don't freeze off when you start typing later. Also, he can use a dramatic stretch to block the screen from nosy passersby.

Image via Susan Cokal

They are more than willing to help write your manuscript, even if it's in a language you can't understand

If you return from the bathroom to find paw prints all over your keys and half your writing deleted and replaced by a random string of letters ("ur orb xxxxxufu34 fhdasth"), fear not. This is your pet's way of adding their input to your story. It's not their fault you don't speak the lost language of xxve2344. Besides, there's always the "undo" button.

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They will make it perfectly clear which of your projects suck

To find out, print out your manuscript and set it down in the middle of the room. Leave for an hour and then return as quietly as possible. If said manuscript is chewed into a million pieces or stained as yellow as the backyard snow, you can safely assume that everything you've written is garbage.

Image via The Missouri Review

They bring you inspiration in the cutest ways

If Fido or Bootsie drop a drool-covered toy or dead mouse in your lap, it doesn't just mean they're giving you a present. As a matter of fact, they're just trying to inspire you to write about their favorite subjects. 300+ pages reciting the existential crisis of that squeaky/stuffy recounting the tale of a rodent-murdering serial killer later, you'll have pure gold.

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They will let you cuddle them and sob hysterically into their fur after you kill off your favorite character

All jokes aside, this point is legit. Pets have an uncanny way of knowing when we’re hurting. Whether that pain is the result of a harsh rejection letter or from pouring our souls onto paper, Fido and Bootsie know what we need: lots and lots of cuddles. There is nothing quite as powerful as an animal we love giving us the strength to continue on in this often-brutal industry.

Image via The Dodo

Okay, TBH, animals are pretty much the biggest distraction ever from writing. But we still love them anyway! Leave a comment and/or photo below describing how your furry companion has "helped" you write.

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Raine Winters

Column by Raine Winters

Raine lives in Cleveland, Ohio and works as a freelance writer and graphic artist. From an early age she has harbored a love of reading and writing, and is lucky enough to incorporate both into her daily work routine. Raine is a lover of all things fantasy and horror related, has a soft spot in her heart for middle grade and young adult fiction, and spends most of her free time running, wakesurfing, or wrangling in her husband and three cats while they perpetrate a massive amount of mischief around the house.

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Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods April 19, 2016 - 5:17pm

Every. Single. Time.