Friday, November 23, 2012

Midnight Ramblings & Why Cats Make Great Writing Buddies

By Julie Keith

Thanks again Drunken Penguin for letting me spread my lunacy to your blog.

I was trying to come up with something inspiring to write so I could sound all professional and intelligent.  Realizing this was a futile dream; I ventured to a bookshelf and stumbled upon a quote I think we can all agree is nothing short of inspirational.  It just makes you feel so worthy and gun-ho about life and about writing.  But what else can you expect from Theodore Roosevelt.  He took time out on his way to accept the Nobel Peace Prize to say the following to some students in Paris,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have… known neither victory nor defeat.”

As I sat here typing this gem on the laptop, sucking on a candy cane, lounging on my couch, I couldn’t help but be moved by that quote.  Figuratively of course, there was no way I was going to actually move.
I may never be in an arena marred by dust and sweat and blood, duking it out with someone else but I have my moments.  I undertook the insanity of NaNoWriMo.  I am 35,342 words into my new out of the blue novel.  It is not the stuff of hand to hand combat but finishing the challenge is quite the achievement.  Coming up on the last stretch, I can clearly see the glorious 50,000 word marker in sight.

I would like to say that I could not have even neared the completion of a novel in only one month without the constant lack of support from my cat.  Sitting usually on the back of the couch beside my head, her lack of enthusiasm for my most inspired works stirs me onward to create better words with which she will be impressed.

This is of course likely to never happen.  The sad reality is, my cat will never be impressed with my work.  She’s a harsh critic.  But as Roosevelt said, it is not the critic who matters, it is the one who does the deed. I am the writer and I write.  I know the passion of writing, of striving to create something others will want to read, striving to create something I would want to read.

That is why I have a dog.  My dog understands the journey, the satisfaction of accomplishment.  For my other novels in progress, short stories saved on the hard drive, notes about possible stories and general passing ideas for new stories – she is there to route for me to finish.  She is the one with the look that says, “You can do it!”  And at times the, “You’re a lazy bum, pick up the laptop and type something!” look.

Then again, maybe not, I may be overestimating my dog’s abilities. I could possibly be insane and imagining all of that.  But she sits at my feet on the couch, happily wagging her tail when I look at her, hanging on my every word and offering her constant unwavering devotion.

If only I had fans like that reading my words.  I need a following of people who hang on my every word and exhibit unwavering devotion.  Then again, that might make me more of a cult leader than a writer.  For now, I’ll stick to writing.  I don’t have time to lead a cult.  But hey, if you’d like to read more of my raving, you can always check me out on  I hang out there on a regular basis!


  1. My cat may have been drunk when I wrote that!

    1. Hehe, that's okay, we put up our tree today, and my cats are already doing a sufficient job of tearing it back down. And eating it. I think they're on something seriously strong, like E or speed...I'd prefer drunk, then I could have nice things. :D