Saturday, February 4, 2012

Like a dog with a chew toy...

(Not my dog, but he's so cute!)

My little doggie has a favorite ball he plays fetch with--a tennis ball with all the felt stripped off. He has a basket full of clean, bright green balls, but he always returns to this same ball.

The other day I wound up for a big pitch, but when I threw the ball, it didn't fly straight. Not even close. It hooked left 90 degrees, flew down one of our hills, and got lost among thick brush. (I have the worst arm ever)

I tried to find the glorious ball, and even have the burrs in my clothes to prove it. While I crunched through brittle weeds, I asked my dog, "Why in the heck can't you play with another ball? Why does it have to be this ball?"

And then I understood. It's like someone asking us, "Why not pursue something easier than writing? Like baton twirling, yodeling, or brain surgery?" But writing is our passion. And just like my dog stares into the thicket, knowing what he wants, we stare longingly at the next stage of our writing journey.

So high five to you, fellow writers! It's fun to doggedly pursue our obsession together, knowing we'll get it...one way or another. Just like my dog will eventually find that ball, even if it's not until we clear brush from the hill again. But rest assured, he will find it.

Do you ever feel like a dog with a chew toy when it comes to writing? If you have a dog, does he insist on playing with the same nasty toys?

And on a completely unrelated note, which team are you rooting for in the Superbowl? And where will you watch the game?

32 comments:

  1. Thanks for the analogy, Julie. Just last night I promised myself I wouldn't get on the computer AT ALL today. No email-checking, no blog-reading, etc. This morning I got up and said, "Who am I kidding? I've got to stay in the game every day because I want this thing badly enough."

    My morning devotion came from Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. I realized then that it's not obsession that keeps me going, but hope.

    Thanks again for boldly putting yourself out there to encourage others.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha, yes! This is so true. When I was a baby, I had a teddy bear that I loved so much it was literally shredded up. Other people tried to replace it, but I wanted the ugly beat up bear. Lately I've been wondering if maybe I should try to pursue something else, just for fun. But then I realized I wouldn't be Madeline without writing. It's hard, but totally worth it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. My dog has a box of tennis balls, too, but he doesn't care which one. I'm afraid he isn't exactly among Nature's most intelligent creatures, loveable, yes, smart, no.

    As for writing, goodness, what else would I do?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not even the slightest bit interested in the Super Bowl this year, but I do enjoy the commercials. My 2 sled dogs have a big toy box in the corner of the family room. It's their nightly routine to rummage through it and gather their favorite toys to sling about the room. While they are always eager for new toys, the do love their old ones, especially the ones that are so chewed up they are no longer even recognizable. Funny enough, they both know each toy by its name, so when I say, "Get HeHonk or the glove or BlueBean," or whatever, they always grab the correct one! Clever dogs!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dogs and their favorite balls! Did you ever find that ball?
    I don't really have a stake in the Super Bowl, so just hoping for an exciting game.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have two dogs, and understand this post completely!

    I always root for the underdog if my team isn't playing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As writers we have to be like a dog with a bone! If we don't keep gnawing we won't get there. I love the cute doggie picture! I'm going for the Patriots - my daughters best friend is the daughter of a former player - gotta support her!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This chew toy called writing is a whole lot of fun! I've played around with different genres or different coloured tennis balls, but I'm settling in to my favourite too!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Julie - I love the part of your post where you mention brain surgery being easier than writing - I agree! Being extremely tenacious seems to be a must with this endeavor. (Go Giants! ^_^)

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great way to look at writing..yes, I do to be very honest. I have been trying to find a writer's critique group and just can't so I'm thinking, perhaps I am not worthy; UGH!

    ReplyDelete
  11. No, we have Jones the cat. He has lots of things to mess with. He just needs me to get off of this laptop and play with him. As I pen this comment, he sits in the open window, sniffing the world which we will not allow him to get at firsthand. Once he gets out, it isn't easy gettimg him back in.

    As for the Big Game, I am rooting for New England. The hated Ginats are in the same division as my poor Cowboys and I hat... Um, pardon me. I strongly dislike them. ;)

    -Jimmy

    ReplyDelete
  12. There are definitely easier ways to make money than choosing the writing path. But like a dog with a bone, we writers just can't let go of it. (carrying your analogy along *grin*)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree with you. Just like the pooch, we writers HAVE to chase the storytelling ball. It isn't a choice - it's our happy place. I'll DVR the Super Bowl and watch the commercials afterwards. I want the team with the cutest quarterback to win. There's my YA voice talking.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We have so much in common. I have one of those arms too. Every third throw is a super crazy one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, it's nice to have so much love and dedication to one toy.
      About the game. I asked my husband, he said New England. I asked, "who's the underdog?" He said,"New York." Note: I like the underdog to win. He said, "The SeaHawks beat New York, so they don't deserve to win the superbowl." I kind of understand his logic. I'll be laughing at the commercials from my office as I organize. Having a stay at home quiet day.

      Delete
  15. Not to spoil your analogy (because is it a great one) but the dog could be only playing with that one ball because there's no green on it. A vet told me once the chemicals in the green dye they use on tennis balls can give some dogs an allergic reaction or burn their mouth. He said to try and always buy natural colored ones. Or to wash the green ones in a sink full of sudsy water and rinse them off really well.

    Just a little tid bit I thought I'd share.

    And most days it's me looking under those thickets for the ball. Especially metaphorically speaking.

    I'm not watching the game.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hope that dog pic is photoshopped - I'd hate to think there's a canine out there that could swallow me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks so much for your comments, guys! I hope you all have a great Superbowl Sunday :D

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yes, I'm as stubborn as that dog. When I make my mind up, there is no subsitute to what I want.

    I probably won't be watching the superbowl. I'm not into football. Don't tell anyone. lol

    ReplyDelete
  19. Go Pats!

    This April will be six years since I began to write seriously. I have a handful of short stories to be out or already out. That's it. So I guess I'm pretty stubborn because I haven't given up.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The super bowl is on, but I haven't been paying enough attention to it to tell you much more than what the score is. My Falcons aren't playing, so I don't care who wins. Nice to see it isn't one-sided, though.

    Great analogy. We used to have a boxer who, no matter how many wonderful toys we bought him, only wanted to play with his old disgusting chewed-up ball. I reckon he disliked change about as much as I do.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Julie - Sorry I'm so late to this one! I can picture your poor little puppy and poor you hunting through the bushes. :( Did you find it??

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm late too! Writing is the only interest I've pursued where I haven't given up, despite set backs and rejections. And it's completely worth it. Great post, Julie!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yep! I'm definitely in sync with your pooch. I have a few scratches and burns to prove it, too! Loved your analogy.sa

    ReplyDelete
  24. Awh bless you poor dog for wanting his special ball. LOL! Good analogy to being a writer.

    ReplyDelete
  25. what an awesome inspiration, Julie! Yes, I do feel like your doggy sometimes. Here's looking forward to the brush clearing! :D As for the SB, didn't watch it. But I hear the Giants won, and as a La-girl, I say yay! <3

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dog with chew toy, child with a lovey, me with that darned ms I won't let go of. Yep, we're all the same. We like what we like, and you can't change our minds, dammit! We'll all keep looking and trying and hanging on until the prize is in our hands.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Meh, as far as writing goes most days I feel like the chew toy :-)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love the analogy! It's so very true. I will never look at a slobbery, filth-encrusted tennis ball the same way again, lol. :)

    Angela

    ReplyDelete
  29. Rawhide chews are very popular and come in many shapes, sizes and even flavors and can keep a dog busy for hours. Dogs can break off small pieces and choke, so supervision is necessary.

    ReplyDelete