For those of us who own pets, you know how much of a difference they can make in your life. They love us, play with us, demand our attention with adorable noises, and more.
I remember how much my life changed for the better when I adopted my first cat Stormy and then later when I found Parky. Stormy had been a deliberate choice, but the little skin and bones Parky had a different purpose in my life. In both cases, my little fur balls did more than just make me a better person.
When I started writing, I discovered a whole new part of my life and the cats added to that. Having cats in the apartment has not only changed me as a person, but they’ve helped my creativity when it comes to writing. Here’s why adopting a cat will help you become a better writer.
They get you up in the morning
There’s no better alarm clock than a screaming cat in your face at 4:30 AM. I can’t get away with snoozing either because Stormy will be licking my nose to get my attention or Parky will jump all over my bed. They want to be fed and they want it now.
Now don’t worry, I have them trained to get me up this early because the morning is my productive time. I started feeding them earlier so I could make sure I was up and getting writing done before my real day started. It gives me time earlier so I can’t make excuses later in the day.
Those early hours are insanely productive. Before literally anyone is awake, I can get my breakfast in, run, caffeinate, and get started on my writing. I have no motivation to go back to bed when their feeder is downstairs and away from my bedroom. Once I’m up and downstairs, I’m going to get started on my day.
You can’t move once they sit in your lap
Both of my cats will fight for lap space when I’m sitting. Unfortunately, only one can claim my legs if I’m sitting at a desk, but usually one is in my lap and one is perched next to the computer fan.
When you have a cat in your lap or sleeping soundly near you, moving is the absolute worst thing you can do. In fact, it should be a crime. The look you get when you disturb a sleeping kitty will absolutely break your heart so it’s a perfect deterrent for moving. If you’re sitting there with a laptop open and can’t move, you might as well start writing! You can’t be a better writer if you keep procrastinating.
Cats help calm your nerves
It’s proven that petting an animal helps with mental health. It helps you relax and reduces anxiety and other related stresses. Add into that the benefits from petting a little fur ball that purrs. If you’re stuck in a writing or creative rut, a little vibrating kitty is the solution. It’s so much love wrapped in a little package that will help calm you down when you can’t figure out what scene to write next.
They add to your word count
Cats have an obsession with keyboards so it’s a good thing you’re using one in your writing. With careful monitoring, you can let your cat walk all over your keyboard and press the letters. Who knows, maybe they’ll actually write that plot twist you’ve been stumped on for the last few days.
Last year during NaNoWriMo, Parky was taking a nice little nap on my legs while I tried to write. I say tried because in reality I was constantly hitting the backspace button. My little nugget was so bothered that I was interrupting his sleep he actually reached out and put his paw over the backspace key to keep me from pressing it. I got a record number of words that day.
Cats make you focus on self and kitty care
Writers sometimes get so caught up in their work that they forget to care for themselves. Having an extra creature to care about (or two) helps you focus on the right things. You get up and feed them and yourself, refill their water and yours, play fetch with them, and get some activity chasing them around when they steal human food they aren’t supposed to eat. To get better writing done, you need to make sure you are healthy and mentally coherent.
You’re no longer a lonely, isolated writer
It’s not drinking alone if the cat is in the house. Kidding, but as writers, our schedule is naturally full of alone time. Having a cat gives you someone to talk to during the day with all your crazy new ideas. You also have a companion who loves you and never judges you for that garbage first draft that will be fixed later. All they really care about is getting attention, food, and warm spots to sleep on while you get the benefits of a friend who loves you unconditionally.
So, if you want to be a better writer, head over to your local animal shelter and pick out a purring kitty. You’ll get all the benefits of a friend without the annoyance of dealing with a human.
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