Saturday, 30 July 2016

Slow down! Lari Don

I’m rubbish at slowing down. I live by deadlines, late nights, deadlines, word counts, deadlines, targets, deadlines, deadlines, deadlines...

But one of my cats has a new strategy for slowing me down.

Lying on my work.

Normally, I think that the most useful things our loved ones can do to help us as writers is to support us to work harder, faster and better.

But sometimes the best thing they can do is make us stop and take a breath...

And in this case, the small cat in a basket was stopping me getting at a manuscript.

The lovely Red Riding Hood basket is what I use to carry all my writing kit (laptop, notebooks, manuscripts,  etc) out to my shed and back in to my study again.

So in this photo, the several hundred pages of the manuscript I was proofing on paper to a VERY TIGHT DEADLINE was under that cat. And I had a choice: disturb her to get my work out and rush rush rush toward my deadline; or let her be and simply slow down for a wee while.

I just let her lie there, because she looked so happy.

She purred for a while and posed for more photos. I took a short break stroking my gorgeous cat and taking deep slow breaths.

Then she stepped elegantly out of the basket and got on with her cat day. And I took the manuscript out (it was warm), got on with my proofing and met my deadline anyway.

If we can’t learn to relax from a cat, who on earth will we learn from...?

Lari Don is the award-winning author of more than 20 books for all ages, including fantasy novels for 8 – 12s, picture books, retellings of traditional tales, a teen thriller and novellas for reluctant readers.
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Joan Lennon said...

I have two - I've got a lot to learn!

Penny Dolan said...

Cats are very good at helping like that, Lari! Kike your story!

My elderly cat started sitting on the open notebook on my desk, which made it impossible to write anything without budging her, and then started keeping very close to my keyboard. After a while, we realised her sight was going, and she was doing it as she really needed to stay close to feel secure, rather than just interested in your work, as your cat seems to be.