Day 3: Write like Freddie
From Helen Sword, creator of the WriteSPACE
Freddie, shown here dressed for a winter beach walk in his woolen Swanndri jacket, is always ready for a new adventure! (Photo by Helen Sword)
I can’t seem to stop writing about my dog Freddie, a snow-white bichon frise with a sweet disposition and a jaunty tail. He features in my most recent book, on the front page of my website, and even on my company’s “our team” page, where his official job description is “Cuddles Manager.”
Freddie doesn't spend long hours at the keyboard as I do. But he's taught me a lot about how to live, breathe, and flourish as a writer. In a recent newsletter post titled Write Like Freddie, I offered ten lessons that I’ve learned from Freddie about writing (and life):
Always dress for the occasion.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Do yoga. Every day.
Take your writing for a walk.
Write with friends.
Don’t panic when things get messy.
When in doubt, take a nap.
Your fatal flaw may also be your superpower!
This list, I'll confess, is very much inflected by the 10 photos that I chose to illustrate it: Freddie wearing a bowtie, Freddie on a yoga mat, Freddie covered in sticky black sand, Freddie snoozing. The photos, in other words, inspired the wording of my half-serious, half-silly prompts.
But when I attend to Freddie’s actual behavior rather than to my Instagrammable snapshots of him, there are other — arguably much more important — lessons that he can teach me:
Delight in everything you experience with your senses: see, hear, feel, taste, smell the world around you.
Stay forever curious, even when you think you already know the terrain you’re moving through.
Explore, explore, explore!
Above all, Freddie reminds me to slow down and pay attention — and what better way could there be to savor an #AcWriMoment?
Imagine exploring your research terrain as a beginner, with all the curiosity, liveliness, and sensory awareness of someone like Freddie — whether an animal, a child, or just someone young at heart. What catches your eye, or your nose? What delights you? When you look at your project through fresh eyes, what can you see that you couldn’t before?
Looking for more writing-related inspiration and insights? Step into the WriteSPACE, a vibrant international writing community with members in 30+ countries. You’ll get premium access to resources, workshops, and tools designed to help you hone your wordcraft, sharpen your style, and coax your writing gently but firmly out the door! Click here to try free for 30 days.