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Unleash Your Pawtential by Erika Bodden

Today I would like to welcome guest writer, Erika Bodden. Enjoy!


We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s a dog’s life.” Dogs really do have it made! They are spoiled and coddled; their owners willfully meet all their needs. However, have you ever really thought about the life of a dog? They can teach us so much. I’ve learned a lot from my own dogs, and they have actually made me a better writer.

5 Tips to Unleash Your Writing Pawtential

1. Go for a walk.

Heighten your senses as a writer. Look at the world around you from a different perspective, the perspective of the adored canine. What catches their eye? What turns their sniffer to the max? What sounds make their head tilt? What do they love to dig their paws into? What do they try to eat off the ground before you can stop them? Who or what do they bark at?

The answers to these questions can morph into the brick and mortar that you can build scenes with. Before you know it, you have a vast collection of scenes that you can implement into your writing. You also have unique information to use when creating characters and their interactions with each other.

2. Play.

Let loose every once in awhile. Find an activity that takes your mind off of your WIP, and have fun. This is a beneficial strategy to defeat writer’s block. Dogs wag their tails, scratch their backs on the ground, run around in circles, bite at the air, shake their toy back and forth or try to chew the squeaker out.

Take up some new hobbies or tinker with some old ones. Buy a dartboard, and put it on your back porch. Put on some rollerblades, and skate around the park. Get a small group of friends together and belt out some tunes at karaoke. Just have fun! Your WIP will thank you later!

3. Sleep.

Dreams can be the framework for masterpieces. You need a healthy sleep cycle to dream. I love watching my dogs dream; they paw at the air with muffled growls and barks. Sometimes they will even wag their tails. They are fully entranced by the fictional state of their mind.

Our dreams can have the same effect on us. Keep a dream journal by your bedside and record everything you remember when you wake up in the morning. Try to be as specific as you can. Describe the shadows, the echoes, the aromas— everything that made the dream seem real. Those dreams can help you with the world building of your WIP.

4. Bury a bone.

Sometimes you have to put things to the side for later. If you are putting all your time into a WIP that seems to be going nowhere, give it a rest. Bury it, and move onto something else. Try a different genre, and start something new. Later on there might be a piece you’re working on that will fit nicely with what you buried. So, dig it back up, and chew on it some more!

If it doesn’t seem to fit with the piece you’re working with, then bury it again! Try not to get too attached to an idea. Creativity is a fluid process. Be willing to change things around as you write. Bury the bone. Dig it back up. Bury it again. Just keep writing, and one day it will all fit together.

5. Be loyal.

Dogs are loyal to their owners. Likewise, writers need to be loyal to their writing. Run to your WIP like it just walked through the door after a long day at work. Your eyes should brighten when you sit down to write, and your heart needs to be in it. Keep your eyes on your WIP, and protect it with all your might.

If your WIP has a bad day, give it some space, but don’t love it less. Nurture your WIP in any way you can. Reread a section and compliment your efforts. Rewrite a section from a different character’s point of view, or rewrite a section by changing the setting. Your WIP is special, and you should be proud to call it yours.

Take to heart the lessons that I learned from my pampered pooches. Sniff out the trail that leads to your success as a writer. It’s okay if you find yourself chasing your tail at times. Wherever your writing journey takes you, be pawsitive! It’s time to unleash your pawtential!



Erika Bodden was born in Bogota, Colombia and is also of Peruvian descent. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida; however, she was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Writing has been a hobby of Erika’s since her childhood. Molt and Fly Free is Erika’s personal blog, and it features various genres of her writing. Erika’s other hobbies include activities associated with nature, music, art, and fitness.

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