Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Squirrelly Lesson

I was looking out my kitchen window this morning when I saw some squirrels just having a grand old time. They were scampering all around the yard. One squirrel caught my attention. I zeroed in on him just to see what he would do. What I observed gave me food for thought as a writer.

• The squirrel went from spot to spot researching the area. As a writer, do I try different topics or do I stay where it’s safe?

• When the squirrel found something of interest, it sniffed at it for a moment and decided if he wanted to remain there or move on. Do I give some of my ideas a chance or do I drop them and go look for others?

• Bingo! The squirrel has hit upon something. He sits there with sustained interest. He kept running over the yard, looking and sniffing until he found an opportunity. Have I been doing this or have I just been in one spot without looking at other possibilities?

• I tapped on the window to get his attention. Did he drop what was in his mouth? Not at all. He held on to it and ran off in another direction. As a writer, do I let distractions or rejections get in my way? We must hold on to our ideas and then plug them in where they fit the best.

• The squirrel's body was in constant motion even as he was sitting still. That gray fluffy tail was bobbing up and down. I think writers are like that. Even when we are not writing, our minds are searching for that next character, scene, plot, or that perfect description. We can’t look at something without seeing the potential for a story, poem, or play.

I am sure that squirrel had no idea the thoughts I had while watching him. Taking a lesson from the squirrel in our writing could be a good thing.


  1. I agree. And of course, in the fall, squirrels gather up acorns to store for the winter, when food is scarce.

    When we think of an idea for a writing piece, even if we don't have time to work on it THEN, we should jot it down. There will sometime be a scarcity of ideas, and we need some in storage to keep us writerly.

  2. Cute analogy, Barb. I'd better get that bushy tail in gear and start writing. Susan