10 Reasons…
by Annette McCleave on March 24th, 2009

…Why Every Romance Writer Should Have a Dog:
1. When you’re on a roll, they remind you about important things, like food and bathroom breaks.
2. They don’t give a fig if the house isn’t vacuumed and the laundry isn’t done.
3. They make an avid audience when you need to read a section aloud.
4. They greet you with enthusiasm when you return after mailing off your manuscript/proposal and every wag of their tails tell you that even if it doesn’t work out, you’re a good person anyway.
5. They growl at the postman, especially when one of your submissions comes back SASE.
6. They lick your face when you get a rejection, a bad review, or when you forget to save an awesome scene and then your computer crashes.
7. They bark and wag their tails when you happy dance, shout ‘yes!’, and generally freak out over finishing a ms, finaling in a contest, or selling a book…cause sometimes no one else is home.
8. When your muse deserts you, you can look in their eyes and be instantly transported into a world of absolute, unconditional love.
9. They’re particularly inspirational when writing scenes involving whining, drooling, and checking out the next-door neighbor.
10. Chocolate is bad for them, so you don’t have to feel guilty when you eat the entire box.

Yes, as you can probably tell, I own a dog. This is my pooch. His name is Lucky, but that might not have been the best choice for a name. He eats everything. Including three-inch hat pins and packets of Advil. Many of his culinary adventures are followed by visits to the vet.


…Why Every Romance Writer Should Have a Cat:
1. They sometimes purr loud enough that you can pretend you’re running the clothes washer or vacuum cleaner.
2. They frequently solve those blank page woes by standing or sitting on your keyboard.
3. They love to play with those balled up pieces of frustration paper that end up on the floor.
4. They are completely unmoved by ranting, raving and swearing, which reminds you that those actions rarely help you meet your deadline.
5. They can stare out the window for hours, which relieves you of that onerous duty and allows you to focus on the blinking cursor.
6. Their mesmerizing eyes provide plenty of inspiration for vampires, ghouls and creepy apartment superintendents.
7. Their random moments of frenetic dashing around make your panicked preparations for supper look like, well, preparation.
8. When you get lost in your story, pounding at the keyboard for hours, they just keep eating their kibble and visiting the litter box. No guilt attached.
9. When your proposal gets rejected or your entry fails to final in a contest, they give a slow blink that says it all–Clearly, my dear, they are idiots. Get over it.
10. Chocolate is bad for them, so you don’t have to feel guilty when you eat the entire box.

A dog just wasn’t enough, so we added a cat to the family. This is Minou. His name means cat in French. Yeah, I know, so inspired. But it works–he even comes when he’s called. He’s tremendously affectionate and sits on my lap whenever I watch TV. Which isn’t ever when I should be writing. Honest.


Okay, so here’s the question of the day: If you had to choose between a cat and a dog as a writing (or reading) companion, which one would you pick? Me, I’d pick my dog, mostly because he warms my feet when I write. Bonus points for that.

10 comments to “10 Reasons…”

  1. 1

    I’ve only ever had big dogs, so, for a reading companion, I would have to say cat. Having an 80 pound bundle of squiggling, happy, loving, dog on your lap doesn’t lend itself to peaceful reading :lol:

  2. 2

    Annette, you make a great case, but both leave me itchy and wheezing! And I’m sorry, but the idea of a hairless cat just gives me the willies!

  3. 3

    Zita, I can’t imagine 65-pound Lucky on my lap, either! Feet good, lap not so much. :wink:

  4. 4

    Allison, darn those allergies. Oh well, I’m sure you have alternative sources for your inspiration!

  5. 5

    65 pounds in the lap? That’s scary. My old cat was 20 pounds, and that was enough to put my legs to sleep!

  6. 6

    My dog’s bigger than your dog – and my cat’s got longer hair, and is a feral hunter. You’ve made great points for having both.

  7. 7

    10. Chocolate is bad for them, so you don’t have to feel guilty when you eat the entire box.

    You are such a good companion to finish off the box for their safety.

    When I settle down to read on the couch, my dog just sighs and circles around for a nap. She knows we won’t be getting up for hours. However, she makes up for this apparent resignation by always choosing to do her puppy freak-outs in front of the overloaded bookshelf in my office which causes an avalanche of at least a dozen titles and which sends her careening around the house in a panic, convinced the book monsters are out to get her.

  8. 8

    No! No! I can’t pick. I like dogs and cats scattered all around while I write. :grin:

  9. 9

    I’m with Kim — it’s an impossible choice! And besides, if I did choose, I’d hurt someone’s feelings… :smile:

  10. 10

    This has been quite surprisingly generous with people like you to deliver easily exactly what a lot of folks could have supplied as an e-book to get some money for themselves, specifically considering the fact that you could possibly have tried it if you decided.

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