Writing with Catitude – Cat Lavoie

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By Cat Lavoie

In my latest novel, Messing with Matilda, leading lady Matilda Hart is not a cat person. But things get a bit interesting when she’s forced to share her childhood bedroom with a territorial feline. Will she change her mind? (No spoilers — but I think she might.)♥

Unlike Matilda, I’ve loved cats my entire life. Growing up, I don’t remember a time when we didn’t a have a cat roaming around the house. So it’s not surprising that one of the first things I did after moving into my first “grown-up” apartment was head to the local rescue shelter to adopt a cat of my own. That was over fifteen years ago. Abbie — my furry writing buddy — passed away in January and I’ve since adopted two rambunctious kitties named Paddington and Molly.

And even though it can be hard to meet your daily word count when you have an energetic kitten who’s obsessed with sitting on your keyboard (I’m looking at you, Miss Molly!) I always try to inject a little bit of their catitude into my writing life:

Having fun is the top priority.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the business side of writing and forget why I started writing in the first place — it’s super fun and the thrill I get from coming up with an awesome bit of dialogue is (I assume) akin to chasing a squeaky toy mouse down a long hallway. So I need to spend more time chasing and less time worrying about things I can’t control.

Know when to take a break.

My cats never hesitate to take time out of their busy schedule of knocking various objects off my desk to nap or stare out the window for an hour. While I can’t afford to stare at a squirrel for no reason, I like to follow their example by slowing it down once in a while to recharge those batteries.

Never give up.

I once watched Paddington try to dislodge his catnip-filled ball from under the couch for close to an hour before finally retrieving it. Now that’s the kind of determination I’d like to channel when I feel like I’ll never reach the end of a scene or chapter.

It’s all about me.

I’d love to have that independent feline attitude when (in moments of insecurity) I inevitably compare myself to other authors and feel like my writing isn’t good enough. Cats are only interested in making sure their own journey is filled with treats and comfy blankets and obedient humans. Who cares what’s going on with the other cat down the street?

Be curious.

Even though my cats have investigated every nook and cranny of my house more than once, they are always on the hunt for something new. It’s a great reminder to keep learning and exploring and totally justifies spending an entire day curled up with a book and an adorable cat in your lap. Cats know how to live the good life!


Cat Lavoie is a chick lit writer from Montreal, Canada. She loves writing fun and quirky romantic comedies and is the author of Breaking the Rules, Zoey & the Moment of Zen, Peri in Progress and Messing with Matilda. A fan of all things feline, Cat loves cats and hopes to someday have a house full of them in order to officially become a crazy cat lady. If she isn’t reading or writing, Cat enjoys listening to podcasts (mostly comedy and true crime) and watching way too much TV. Cat is currently at work on her next novel.

CatLavoie.com

 

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