February 4, 2011

Waiting for Inspiration

As a writer, there are times when I think that I’ll never keep up with all the topics I want to write about. I look around every day and WHAM! ideas flow through my curly head like a bloated river racing toward the sea. My paws can’t move fast enough across the keyboard nor can I find enough time in the day to let all those ideas find their way onto the page.

But then there are times when my mind feels empty, when looking at the world around me doesn’t elicit a single idea. It’s frustrating. Normally, when I’m inspired, I’ll be walking along and a word or a sentence will pop into my head and I’ll think, “Yes, that’s it!” Then I’ll pull at my leash hoping to get home before the idea melts away. But when I’m not inspired, when my mind feels gray and mushy, I just want to stay out with my friends — playing and walking — hoping that at some point inspiration will find me.

Gretchen tells me to relax. “An idea will come,” she says. “It always does. Just be patient and you’ll see.”

I suppose she is right, but now, when I’m only writing one blog a week, I feel the pressure to find just the right topic to write about.

“That just gives you more time,” Gretchen explains, “to find just the exact thing you wish to write about.”

Yeah, okay but when Monday morning rolls around and I am without a single idea I get a little nervous. So Monday rolled this week and nothing came to mind. Sure, while walking with Rosie and Tyson I thought about writing about the chilly weather, but I’ve been keeping a blog for over 2 years and I know I’ve written about the weather a million or more times (a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea) and while I love walks in the chilly mornings — when the sun slowly burns off the gray sky and my friends (Rosie and Tyson) are excited to see me — I felt I’d spent a fair amount of time on the topic. In other words, it was an interesting topic but not inspired.

I thought about writing about Ro and Ty — two siblings cut from very different cloth. But if you read my blog a lot, you are fairly familiar with Rosie’s silliness and Tyson’s seriousness.

In fact, when we walked out onto the dock by the lake (Monday), their dog-a-nalities came out in spades with Rosie wanting to chase after the ducks who flew by (“Don’t do it Rosie…you’ll fall in the lake and sink like a boulder!”) and Tyson whining slightly every time Rosie jumped for a duck (“Don’t go so close to the edge, sister Rosie!”).

Or how, when I walk Rosie by herself (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) she is slightly different than when she’s with her brother — a little more subdued and not as reactive (she always responds to Tyson’s energy and when it’s not there, she relaxes a bit more…still she loves her brother).

Of course, it’s kind of the same face when she walks with her brother, isn’t it?

And then there’s the walk I got all by myself (well, with Gretchen) at one of my favorite neighborhoods — around Volunteer Park — where we watched the sun burn off the clouds and give us a hint of the mountains to the east. (By the way, I’m sitting on top of a metal sculpture in the photograph below — 34 degrees and metal on my bum–I am a very good boy, don’t you think?)

I could write about the mountains and the views on these beautiful days…

But I feel as if I’ve written about that at least a thousand times…though it is pretty, isn’t it?

Paige’s 3rd birthday was another topic I thought about exploring. Since I’m about to turn 4 I had lots of advice for her about how she should live her threes — “Go crazy every once in awhile — race around the yard and pretend you’re 6 months old again and then flop on the ground with a big smile on your face…” but Paige is her own dog and her year of 3, I have a feeling, will be much different than my year of 3. Still, it was great to share birthday cake with her and hang out while Gretchen worked at the pool!

On Wednesday, when I get to spend lots of time with Monty, I thought about tons of topics to write about, but none of them inspired me enough to sit down and actually write. For instance, I thought about writing about Monty’s wild and crazy hair — he kind of looks like a guy from the 70’s all he needs is a tye-dyed t-shirt and some love beads to complete the look — but next week Monty and I are going to the groomer (yikes) so I decided Monty’s many faces might be the topic for next week…you know, a before and after perspective.

Of course, it also struck me who he looks like when his hair is all puffed up!

I also thought about writing about how Monty encourages me to eat, standing over me while I stare at my food and decide whether or not I’m going to eat it. He eats his food quickly and then waits for me to finish. Sometimes he waits too closely and I have to give him a bit of a growl, but he just laughs at me and tosses back that outrageously long hair while I take my first bite.

And then he sleeps in the kitchen by the food bowls while I wait to come in from outside…

On Thursday, I thought about Woobie as my topic of choice — how she races out the front door of her house when we arrive and spins her way down the stairs and back up again waiting for her leash to be put on, but I knew I needed to write about larger topics than just one dog (wouldn’t want my other clients to get jealous).

That said, I could probably write a whole week’s worth of blogs about Woobie. She’s so funny. If ever there was a dog who LOVED life, it’s Woobie. One example: Sometimes we pick up Woobie, go for a walk, and then head back to our house where Woobie and I hang out together. Woobie gets a drink from my bowl (and her long hair drags droplets of water all over the house), and then she flops down as close to Gretchen (and me) as she can — stretched out like a long, soft and fluffy rug. But when Gretchen picks up her leash, Woobie spins and spins and spins, tosses back her hair, and gives a smile that’s worth millions. Of course, when the camera comes out, I’m the one who goes a bit crazy while Woobie watches on and does these amazing yoga stretches waiting for me to behave!

I guess there are a lot of topics to write about, but it’s all about inspiration. Maybe this week I had too much inspiration and that’s why it was difficult to focus on just one thing. Hey, maybe I could write about that?

What Gretchen? Did you say something?

Oh, she just yelled from the kitchen — “You just DID write about that!”

I guess she’s right. Ha!

Until next week,


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