As I write this, my dainty black cat Lucy is curled up in her fleece bed, head tucked under paw, snoring so loudly I can hear her from across the room. She has no idea how much writing advice she has given me. And of course, being a cat, doesn't care. But since we aren't cats and need to live to write another day, I thought I'd share some of Lucy's Lessons for Writers:
Be True to Your Nature: You are your own animal. Find that writing self. Don't try to be other animals. It never works. They won't thank you. And you'll feel crappy.
Staring Is Good: Observation (external, internal) is the foundation of all good writing.
Keep Your Business in the Box: Separate your writing time from your business-of-writing time. They don't mix. One is a marathon; the other a sprint. Some writers even hire people to sprint for them.
Get Up and Stretch. A Lot.: You'll breathe easier, think better, and in general be more tolerable company for all, including yourself. Corollary: While you're up, pet your cat. Repetitive motion is soothing.
Editing, Like Licking, Should Be Thorough, Though Not Obsessive: Just when you think you can't stand any more, do one more round, nose to tail (including under the hood). When you realize you're going over the same wet ground, stop.
Practice Active Napping: When you take time off, really take it off. Tuck your nose under your paw and lose yourself. Don't worry, the blank page (and maybe some ideas to fill it) will be there when you get back.
Although You Did Nothing Today, You're One Fine Specimen: Do you ever see cats express self-doubt? Wonder what they've done with their nine lives? Think they don't deserve treats? I thought not.