Living with a children's author isn't as easy as it looks!

Start before you’re ready.

~Steven Pressfield~

When you’re an author, getting started can be tough. Blank screen. Blank mind. Blank look in your eyes.

Wait. What?

Wait. What?

Blankness happens to me a lot. It also happens to Mom when she’s starting a new story. She’s never REALLY ready to write. So she has to take Steven Pressfield’s advice and start anyway. She doesn’t start at the computer, though. She starts in her head. Mom always lets ideas sit up there inside her brain for a while before she starts something new. Mind-writing.


She mind-writes while we’re walking,


while we’re cuddling,


while we’re decorating,


and she even did some mind-writing while we visited Santa.

cupcake with santa 2014

Mom says, “It’s not about how you start.” and “It’s not about when you start.” and “All that matters is that you start….and finish.”

the end

And I say, “Maybe we can just mind-write a little more…”

bed (2)

Comments on: "Inspirational Quote of the Week" (58)

  1. I so agree mind-writing is great! My mom sometimes writes a bestseller in her mind … but sadly when she tries to send it to the keyboard the data transfer is interrupted…probably her wireless transfer has some bugs… I suggest her a data cable for the next bestseller, hope she can find a plug in-place :o)

    • That data transfer can be tricky. It could be why Mom is still chasing the elusive Book 2. Let me know if you solve this problem…

      Love and licks,

  2. Cuddles are the best – I’m sure that’s when she gets her really good ideas 😉 x

  3. That’s so right, dear Cupcake..but Granny forgets all of it when she wants to write it down 😀 You look mighty fine in your Christmas outfit, girl. Here’s a big Pawkiss on your nose 🙂 ❤

    • Thanks, Little B. All the trouble starts with the actual writing. That’s about when it falls apart for Mom, too.

      Love and licks,

  4. Your Momwithoutpaws woofs those words out and it is pawsome

  5. Cupcake your Mom is right….it’s just STARTING that will lead to the FINISH……mind-writing is a good idea though – having some sort of plan before you dive in! Except when we get a big bowl of some kind of yummy treat, we don’t have to have a plan other than EATING! Love your photo with Santa Paws!!!!!!

    Hugs, Sammy

  6. All words of wisdom, dear Cupcake! And keep on wearing that hat…it looks just lovely!

  7. Cupcake I always mind write night when I am trying to sleep..when I am stuck in traffic or when I am gardening…for me it comes to nought…mum is different she mind writes with I mind write because I may be a bit dippy 😉 and by the the snuggles with mum pic..:) loves and hugs Fozziemum xx

    • Ha! Nighttime mind writing is the best kind. It’ll make you dream happy dreams. ….unless you’re mind writing a dragon story. Then all bets are off!

      Love and licks,

      • Yikes..that they are Cupcake 🙂 I am always amazed that our minds can create such things from seemingly nothing..creativity truly is a miracle when you think about it..even dragons! loves Fozziemum xx

  8. katie isabella said:

    You made me and mommy both smile and smile. I love seeing you in all your activities while you help mama mind write. And mommy asked me to tell you thank you very much for telling her about where Admiral might live…in my tummy so she can still get kisses and loves. xxoxoxox

  9. Sage advice, you’re never “ready” to start – just have to go for it. Our ideas always seem to start in our stomachs, but we’ll have to try this whole ideas-in-head suggestion.

  10. that first photo is hilarious!

  11. I love the way your mom thinks. That is exactly how I write as well. It all starts in my mind. Sometimes I mull it over longer than other times, but I find when it starts in my mind it forms more easily when I sit down to write it.

    • Thanks, J. That’s how Mom thinks. The more work she does in her head, the less work she’ll have to do when she sits down. Does that mean she’s lazy? Hmmmm…

      Love and licks,

  12. McKinley is a writing widow – when I get to going she reminds me. Mom, play with me. Mom, walk me. Mom, let’s cuddle. Mom, its raining out and it’s going to get me. Mom! Mom! Deaf Mom! There is someone at the door! (oh! thanks!) Mom! Time for bed!

    My best head writing times are with ‘Kinley. Bless all the dogs of writers for all they do for us!

    • Moms all have to learn that pets come FIRST. Walking, playing, treats, dinner, cuddling, and did I say playing – ALL come before work. McKinley is trying to teach you the right way! Pay attention. 🙂

      Love and licks,

  13. Cupcake you are adorable. If I was a dog…I’d be your bestest friend. You know your mom so well and it sounds like she knows what she’s doing when it comes to writing.


    • Thanks, S. Mom does know what she’s doing, but I’m sure she couldn’t do it without me! Dog or cat or monkey, you are still a good friend. xo

      Love and licks,

  14. Boy do I know that look! Cut post! Merry Christmas!

  15. Love your hat, Cupcake and you look adorable all wrapped in lights. Keep up the great posts! 🙂

    • Thanks, T. I guess being wrapped up in lights is the next best thing to having my name up in lights. I’m still waiting for that…

      Love and licks,

  16. Mind-writing sounds like fun. I wouldn’t mind trying that. But what happens if you’re out of your mind, or mindless. Well I suppose it’s just mind over matter. Gah! Never mind!
    Love the hat!❤️

    • Thanks, G. But, GAH! You’ve given my mind a headache. Mom says I should know all about mindless and out of my mind. That’s OK. I don’t mind… Wait. What? Ouch.

      Love and licks,

  17. Mommy says she mind writes, too. I think she’s just daydreaming, but whatever makes her happy! And speaking of happy, I absolutely love these photos of you. Very, very sweet!

    • Thanks, Miss HL. Sweet is always what I’m after. I agree with you. I think mind writing is an excuse to daydream. Who knows about dreaming better than us doggies?

      Love and licks,

  18. Mind writing! I like that, yes I do. I am not a writer like your Mom but I think if I was doing some mind writing about good things I like it would help with anxiety. If my mind is full of good thoughts or is busy writing happy things like your Mom does mind writing for her books I could keep the anxiety monster away. I like calling it mind writing!!! And Cupcake I have to tell you that is a very sweet picture of you in front of the Christmas tree with your plaid festive holiday collar… and then of course there is your hat. Darling!

    • Thanks, Pix. You are right about my darling-ness, of course. 🙂 You are also right about mind writing in the happy, joyful, loving, grateful way. It makes every minute of every day better AND keeps all kinds of monsters away.

      Love and licks,

  19. I like calling it mind writing. I have to think about where I’m going to start one of my tales before I get my biped to type it.

    • You found the secret of mind-writing, C. Just THINK. Turns out it’s a bigger deal than I thought for SOME people…

      Love and licks,

  20. Mind writing sounds like a great way to go! And Cupcake, you just look perfect all decorated 🙂

  21. Your Mom is so wise Cupcake! Your posts stopped showing up in our reader 😦 Hope they come back! Have a fantastic Christmas!
    Marty and Mom

    • Thanks for coming to find me, M. I hate disappearing from readers….. It makes me mysterious – which I am NOT! 🙂

      Love and licks,

  22. I’m constantly making up stories in my head, but don’t have the courage sometimes to put them on “paper”. I agree, maybe a little more cuddling with the pups will help.

    Monty and Harlow

  23. I don’t think that blankness could happen to you a lot. Your head is simply too small for a great amount of blankness. On the other paw, blankness is sometimes the only way for developing a new idea. I sit in front of my computer, stare at the (blank or not blank) screen, my brain is filled with anything but blankness. Nothing happens. But in the afternoon, or on the next day, or more often, in the bathtub in the evening, an idea comes from the dark, dull blankness.

    • That’s EXACTLY how it happens, K. There’s nothing, and then there’s nothing, and then there’s nothing, and then there’s SOMETHING! Yay! Even my blankness can’t last forever, ’cause like you said, my head is really tiny!

      Love and licks,

  24. I love that you include a lot of photo’s in your posts Cupcake! I find a photo helps me tell a story so much better. I like the term ‘Mind Writing’ too. It’s so spot on. My favourite photo are your tiny paw prints in the dew and you peaking out from the delightful polkadot sheets 😀

  25. Great post, C! I like the quote!

    • Thanks, E. As a contest guy, you must know a lot about starting before you’re ready. Gotta meet those deadlines, after all..

      Love and licks,

  26. Another great post!!! We think your Mom should write a book about you… 🙂 It would surely be an instant hit!

  27. Oh how well I understand and appreciate this post, Cupcake. Loved the accompanying photos. 🙂 Bark, live, love ❤

  28. […] on one, but Mom said the word, “No boat.” and “Stay by me.” and “I wonder if a story called Dog on a Swan Boat is […]

  29. […] start new things all the time. If they stick with their start, they end up with a story. That’s a […]

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