Sometimes, the best part about writing is that my dog is always snoring nearby, offering sleepy moral support as I sit at my desk, agonizing over my latest fictional romance.
Lots of well known writers have had pet sidekicks; Charles Dickens’ cherished animal companion was a raven named Grip, Edgar Allan Poe was a cat-person and his pet feline was named Catterina, John Steinbeck had a dog named Charley and Virginia Woolf had a dog who was called Pinka.
So, I have been thinking about what sort of qualities are needed for a writer’s pet. Here’s how I think a job description for a writer’s pet might look…
Vacancy For A Writer’s Pet.
About The Role:
Animal / bird / fish / reptile needed to provide long-term emotional and creative support to a writer.
Can vary each week. Dependent upon a number of factors:
The writer’s feelings towards their writing.
The writer’s procrastination levels.
The amount of emotional support a writer gets from a human loved one. If they don’t get enough emotional support from a loved one, their pet, will have to step in and do overtime.
This is a live in role with the writer.
Key Duties / Responsibilities:
- Must be able to look alert at the start and at the end of the writer’s 678th recital of their first chapter.
- Must be able to sense the writer is strugging with chapter twenty-two of their draft novel and allow the writer to sob hysterically into their fur or up against their cage / fishbowl.
- Must be able to silently listen and not give judgment on the dodgy mid section of their writer’s new draft novel which is as saggy as their pet bed.
- Must be able to break wind at key moments and distract the writer from their frantic typo search.
- Must be able to look ‘cute’ at short notice and willing to star in Instagram pics when the writer is busy procrastinating.
- Must be skilled at snoring gently while the writer is writing into the early hours.
- Must be willing to be named after one of the literary greats or one of the writer’s characters. If it’s the latter, they must accept that their pet name could be changed at the drop of a hat should the writer decide they hate their story.
- Must be willing to accept the writer will be constantly creating imaginary and elaborate lives for them. These imaginary lives can vary with each writer and will be dependent upon the writer’s preferred genre. The pet might find they spent many years travelling across magical lands, fought in a great battle and were a stowaway on a famous voyage before they came to live with the writer. It’s important the pet just plays along with this.
- Must be willing to sit and listen to the writer’s literary woes.
- Must be able to keep the writer’s keyboard warm when they are away from their desk.
- Must be willing to bark, mieow or hiss at the mention of the writer’s book title.
- Must be willing to feature in their writer’s stories and novels.
- Must get the urge to chew up the writer’s paper manuscript or walk muddy paws over it whilst the writer’s back is turned.
- Must be willing to perform amusing animal stunts or tricks for inclusion within the writer’s tweets, blog posts and author newsletters.
- Must accept that the writer will regularly ask them questions like, “what do you think about that chapter…my reviewers thought the start was a little weak…your thoughts?” and “what do you think about my foreshadowing?” and “do you think I will ever be an international best-selling author?”
- You will be a loyal and patient animal / bird / fish / reptile.
- At times you will understand your writer owner better than their loved one.
- You will have known from a young age that you were destined for the literary world.
- Just like your writer you will also go wild around the kitchen and lose control of your bladder at the news of your writer’s unexpected literary success.
This role is paid in love, nibbles, cuddles, pet biscuits and a leading animal star role in one of your writer’s many stories.
- If the writer becomes famous you will be known as their pet. This may result in you getting your own blog, Instagram or Facebook following.
- You will get to hear the writer’s work before anyone else. You LUCKY animal!
Thanks for reading,
Have a great day.
If you want to read more about writers and their pets check out this article.