Once upon a time, a very good friend gave me a gift. I suppose this gift should have been used as intended, it is a book of postcards after all, but I couldn’t part with the quotes; therefore it remains on my bookshelf.
You see, the title of this postcard book is: The Wisdom of Cats and my love of felines is notorious. Hoarding these gems of wisdom seems selfish, and while I can’t share the illustrations with you because of copyright laws, I think the quotes can safely be shared as long as I credit the persons who said them, most of whom are writers.
So let’s start this series of posts with a quote from American Writer, and author of All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat, Suzy Becker:
How can we writers apply this quote and its wisdom to our writing lives? When I first contemplated the quote I easily related the instincts and chair portion to my writing life, the barefoot part stumped me. For a while. I’ll address that part of the quote last.
“I learned from my cat to go barefoot, obey instincts, and claim your own chair.”
Obey Your Instincts
The cat is correct – obey your instincts. With all the rules out there about how to write and how not to write we sometimes lose our style and confidence. Maybe you should end that sentence with a preposition because it is more effective that way. Go ahead and have a large cast of characters in your novel; it sure hasn’t hurt George R.R. Martin. To add a prologue or not? Some say avoid them. I agree with our feline friends, follow your instincts.
Claim Your Own Chair
Yes! Yes! Yes! Creative types need a comfortable place to work. If you’re a writer, a comfy chair, sofa or bed is essential. You can’t concentrate on your characters if your back is hurting, or your butt is numb. Wherever you choose to write, make sure it fits your needs so you can focus on your work, shutting out the rest of the world, if only for a little while.
Did you know that going barefoot improves your balance? We revere cats for their balance, their ability to land on their feet. Balance is only one benefit from going barefoot. Studies on ‘Earthing’ – that’s what they call going barefoot these days – show “health benefits come from the relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the earth.” Source
Some of those benefits:
- moderates heart rate variability
- improves glucose regulation
- reduces stress
- boosts immunity
- decreases blood viscosity (a factor in heart disease)
- regulates endocrine and nervous systems
- chronic pain patients experience less pain
Remaining healthy should be a priority for everyone. When we feel well we perform functions better. As someone who suffers from chronic pain, I know how disruptive a migraine can be. I think it’s time to toughen up my feet and do some walking around barefoot.
Cats have it right. Don’t doubt it for a minute.