Writers Writing for Themselves by Christine Duncan

When writers go about their daily life, they often have to write. But it amazes me when I see how many writers seem to be unaware of the effect that their writing has. Many times, writers are unintentionally harsh–without meaning to be. And yes, by writers, I mean me.

Recently, I wanted to write something myself to my rather large neighborhood. Several neighbors moved in this summer, and they all seemed to have large cats. These large cats were all using the play structure in my yard as a litter box.

I didn’t want to confront a bunch of people (or at least not the ones who didn’t hear my not so delicate screeching on doing these cleanups) so I decided to write something on local social media, to more nicely alert my neighbors of the nuisance value of their animals in my yard.

Yet I felt a little cautious. I mean, people can be very attached to their pets, and are totally not understanding why you might not want their Tom the cat in your yard.

I started out trying to be humorous. Why, I asked, if cats can’t be owned, do people persist in trying to do so? Mmm, maybe I shouldn’t ask.

I then proposed that before people moved into the neighborhood, they send out a survey to their soon to be neighbors. Something like this:
I have an outdoor cat and I am moving in. Please check the appropriate box as to how you feel about this.

1. Cool, I have cats too.
2. Ehh, whatever.
3. I will pay you to please move somewhere else. Big money.

My husband thought this wasn’t great either–which just proves the value of having someone critique your writing before sending it out. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to put out the money.

I guess I will, being the wimp I am, invest in a motion controlled sprinkler system to chase the unwanted away.

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