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How To Train Your Dog To Write Your Book

This morning after another hot night, my two dogs come to join me in bed, but only for morning treats. They steal most of the bed as dogs do, but I love their company. Though in winter, I find that they encroach on my space.

Angel Dog

The song, which goes Roll over, roll over, comes to mind when I think of a night spent with them getting closer and closer to me to the point that it was easier to get up, get a cuppa and get in the other side.

Yeah, ok, some of you will find it yucky. I, however, love the closeness of our pack. And it’s my home, my rules. Although you could be fooled into thinking it’s their home, their rules.

No matter what you think, I get endless inspiration and licks from my two (was three) pooches.

I also get lots of time to reflect as I walk them three or more times daily. When I am walking, I get my best ideas and aha moments. So I have a lot to thank the awesome duo for.

In my daily musings, I came across some ideas for training a dog, and my mind being my mind, I could see a correlation between that and writing a book. So, without further ado, and no, you do not need to pass me your paw.

Here are some top tips for how to write a book inspired by the pooches.

how to train your dog to write your book

Take It One Chapter At A Time

What I mean by that is chunk everything down. When you have planned your outline and sorted out what goes where in your narrative arc, plotted and plotted until you have your chapter outline, your book is now in chunks. Take one chapter at a time and write in small chunks – these are typically scenes for a memoir. It will be much easier than seeing an enormous thing you must tackle.

Marley Moo

This reminded me of Marley running down the rambla (dried riverbed pathway) with a whole goat's skeleton. There was no way she could eat all of that bone in one sitting. Sadly for her, she had no choice but to share. They all chunked it down and scoffed the poor hapless goat.

Use Clear, Concise Words And Sentences

I love discovering what the root and real meanings of words are. Words are delicious. However, when you write in a way that leaves your reader constantly wondering what the hell you are on about, that my friends is a big no-no. Just like dogs understand simple commands such as sit, stay, paw, high five, and gentle, we humans understand things in the same way. If you have me constantly scratching my head, wondering what you mean, you will have lost a reader.

Use Treats

Earlier, I said I get to walk a lot with the dogs. For me, that is a real treat. Fresh air and Mother Nature nourish me. As do the healthy cakes that I make. When writing, I do so in chunks and then stop for a walk, tea or a small piece of cake. These simple things keep me motivated. Like the dogs, I think I live for treats and walks. Treats keep them motivated to do things, and me likewise.

Recently I moved my office around, and the drawer I keep my treats is no longer accessible to Angel, who had perfected the art of opening it and stealing them when I wasn’t looking.

She is most perturbed and has taken to licking me. And only a treat stops it. Who is training who?

Reward Immediately

Reward yourself as soon as you have finished a chapter or a chunk of a chapter. Celebration is much underrated. It is usually saved for birthdays and other ‘special’ times. When you have put your heart and soul into writing or editing, I think that deserves an immediate reward. Put a star on a chart, tick something off your plan. However, you do it, make sure it’s straight away.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Writing is a muscle it gets better with practice. Just like dogs are supposed to. Mmm.

Take It One Day At A Time

Writing a book is a big undertaking. Alongside creating courses, it is one of your biggest product development projects, I imagine that you will undertake. When you start, it will feel clumsy as you navigate your outline. Things will change. You will change. The things you share, which are your areas of expertise, will crumble under your pen, and you will wonder how you could ever call yourself the expert. The same happens with stories, where you are left wondering if this one really belongs in your book. It happens, it is part of the process, and it is ok.

When I found Angel as a puppy abandoned in the rambla, I thought she would be snapped up, and a forever home would be found. There is a global problem with people abandoning dogs, and there wasn’t anywhere for her to go. Yes, I could have put her in the pound and then what – not on my watch.

So she stayed, she is adorable, but and there is a big but, it was hard integrating her. I struggled. When my dog trainer arrived to ‘train’ me, I often cried all over him. When I look back, I can smile. Things do get better, and my best advice is to cry, scream, smile, and treat yourself, but most of all, remember to take one day at a time, and you will get your book written.

What Next?

I talk to many people who want to write a book. Some do, some do it by themselves, and some get help with all of it. Having a mentor for your book makes life easier, just like my dog trainer. He helped me through some tough times, and I did remember to laugh and make it fun.

It’s the same with books. I’m here with the ‘expertise’ to support you through the process. All you have to do is have a sniff of an idea and the desire to want to bring that alive and into the world. Together we will co-create a fantastic book that you will be proud of.

Head to my calendar and book some chat time to explore your ideas. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh? I say that because now I am the proud mummy of three beautiful dogs who are my life and bring such fun, joy and love. That’s an experience I would never want to be without.

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