Welcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging her this week. Enjoy.
Procrastination makes me a better writer. How do I know this? Because I’m a genius at pounding out 500 words on a topic like “air conditioning Texas” or “Missouri gall bladder” when I have less than 30 minutes on the clock. Give me 48 hours, though, and I’ll spend at least two hours dawdling over each paragraph.
Now, I understand the importance of meeting deadlines, and I’ve never missed one in my three years as a professional web content writer (knock on wood). However, procrastination has become a bad habit because I’d sometimes rather drink coffee, chat with friends, look for part time jobs for writers, or romp with my kids than work. Other times, though, I blame my penchant for last minute writing on my cats, who distract me and take over my keyboard.
Cats, you say? Yes, four adorable, playful, and distracting cats.
A few months ago, a stray cat wandered into my husband’s auto body shop and birthed a litter of four kittens. We spent the next few weeks feeding the mama, observing the babies, and itching to get our hands on the tiny fur balls. We also began looking for good kitten homes.
At first, a few people were interested, but their enthusiasm fizzled. We were left with four adorable, growing, and rambunctious kittens. What else could we do but bring them home where they’d be safe, healthy, and clean?
The only problem was they distracted me from my work.
I’d sit down in my favorite chair, set my coffee cup nearby, and open up my laptop. That was the kittens’ signal to get busy. Instantly, they’d begin meowing for treats or playing with their toys. I’d have no choice but to set work aside and join in the fun.
Then they discovered my lap.
The black and white tuxedo kitty would jump onto the chair’s arm, tentatively climb into my lap, and plop down. Of course, I didn’t have the heart to toss her onto the floor. So, I held her as she sprawled across the keyboard and fell asleep.
Soon, her orange striped siblings would join her. They were not content to sleep, though. They wanted to work. They would step on the keyboard and type gobbledygook. Once, they even managed to change the font on Firefox: I spent an hour returning it to normal.
Most of the time, I could type in between the paws and tails. Other days, though, I simply settled down to watch YouTube cat videos and nap right along with the kittens. Eventually, they ran off to play, and I was left to work in peace, albeit at a faster pace than normal.
Now that half of our foster kittens have found homes, I’m not nearly as distracted. I sometimes wish, though, that my cat helpers were still around to take over the keyboard. Who knows? Maybe they could’ve helped me become a genius writer.
Jennifer T grew up on a dairy farm where she raised cats and cows. She currently stays busy writing so that she can feed her family and fund her coffee habit.