Career changing Inspiration

Getting inspiration from pets

Getting inspiration from pets

Pets are our constant companions. For a lot of people, their animal friends are their sole contact on some days. And they can inspire.

Do you speak Dog?

Adventures in Career Changing | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Getting inspiration from pets
Do your pets ever inspire you?

Humans first domesticated dogs back when we still lived in caves. They probably saved our species and certainly love us unconditionally. Dogs are incredibly observant and usually act to please us, although they have their own personalities and quirks.

However, dog bites are fairly common; there are a few million per year in the United States alone. From 2005 to 2015, dogs killed 360 Americans. As a result, some people are deathly afraid of them.

Feline Follies

Cats can seem aloof, but they also bond well to humans. A cat is often a great companion for people who live in apartments. This is because they are small and often quiet, and their non-hairball messes are well confined. However, a lot of us (myself included) are allergic to them. Furthermore, strays and outdoor cats differ. If your furry friend wanders, you might want to do a thought experiment and try to figure out where they go, and what they do, and why.

The Reptilian World

Lots of people love snakes and turtles. During my childhood, my brother had an iguana. Maybe a dinosaur-like creature can inspire some interesting tales.

Polly Wanna Write?

Parrots are extremely intelligent and can live a long time. Furthermore, a lot of birds are extremely beautiful. Plus there’s the very concept of flight – and they’re so casual about it! So how would we humans be if we could fly, too?

How Ya Gonna Keep ’em down on the Farm?

While farm animals aren’t often seen as companion animals, per se, people do sometimes see them that way. The most obvious are horses, but this includes chickens and potbellied pigs, for example. Maybe consider what it’s like to befriend a creature which a lot of other people only see as food.

Big Inspiration from the Very Small

So, for the purposes of this kind of catch-all section, let’s look at not only smaller critters like mice and hamsters, but also fish, insects and spiders, and others like rats and ferrets. Your animal friend might be lively and playful, or sedate. Maybe the wheel gets a lot of use. And what are they thinking? Is it just about food, or is there more to them?


When we get into others’ heads, we see the world differently. Animals are almost aliens on our world, so considering how they think might prove very helpful when writing science fiction. Hug your pets today!

Career changing Inspiration

Eavesdropping for fun and inspiration

Eavesdropping for fun and inspiration

So, Eavesdropping?

Eavesdropping really works, and it is probably a writer‘s best tool. Once you start listening in on conversations, you will open up a whole new world. Because real dialogue, interspersed with your created dialogue, adds realism.


First of all, you have got to be subtle. This means maybe you pretend to play with your phone. Or you look out a window or stare into space. Because you should not be obvious about such things.

Eavesdropping for fun and inspiration | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Adventures in Career Changing
Eavesdropping for fun and inspiration

Furthermore, conversations are often layered. While you are perhaps listening to one person talk to three other people, there is a give and take between that person and the others. However, there are also words passed among the others in the group. Then they might even break off and begin their own conversations.

This doesn’t even get into what happens when you’re in a crowded room. Since it is hard to follow a lot of conversations, concentrate on only one or two. You won’t hear it all, anyway. Furthermore, if you split your focus, you won’t get anything good.


I am not saying you need to be nosy. Furthermore, this is not for gossip. Rather, you are a writer and you are doing research. Do yourself a favor and mix up what you hear. Don’t copy paragraphs outright. Instead, grab a sentence here and there. Write them down and put them away for later. Since you will presumably be writing for years, a sentence might work a decade from now. You never know.

The Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Innocent

Have you ever heard that? Make sure to change names. Or eliminate them altogether. You can also swap gender. Hence if a friend is complaining about her boyfriend, why not change the friend to a man? Or slip the complaint into something else. The complaint could be about your protagonist’s coworker.


Be subtle. Don’t use what you hear in order to gossip. Change the details. Finally, don’t repeat truly personal information (bank accounts, divorce proceedings, fatal disease diagnoses, etc.) unless you change nearly all of the verbiage. Be your usual pleasant, polite, and caring self. Yes, even as you gather some writing fodder.