Writing a Novel is Like Training a German Shepherd

012Five months ago, I rescued a year and half-old German shepherd named Odin and added him to my family. He is an amazing dog, high drive, sweet and intelligent, and he can be trained to do any type of service or search work. To be more specific he is a Czech German shepherd, which means that he is full of energy and demands a strict daily routine for play and advanced training.

Odin is my first shepherd. I have had Labradors and various retrievers in the past, so I am used to all types of training in obedience, agility, and scent work. However, nothing prepared me for Odin! odin+3I consider myself an experienced dog handler, but Odin put my skills and experience to the test. There is a basic standard to obedience training, but since no two dogs are exactly alike, he pushed my patience to the limit.

I learned a few things about myself and novel writing over the past few months. With every writing project (novel, short story, article, etc.), you need patience, perseverance, and the skills to obtain your goal. You cannot sit back and cruise when you begin a new project just because you have completed one before; every book is a new challenge with various obstacles. Keeping centered, open to new problems if they occur, and wanting to learn new things is the key to a successful project. Embrace everything!


Patience is an area in life, as well in writing, that I find it difficult to achieve all of the time. With an undertaking of writing a novel, it takes patience. There is absolutely no way around it. It is not just the writing, but the editing, research, and promotion. It can take a toll and patience is the key. The best way I have found to keep in check is to have a game plan and use outlines.


To move forward with the inevitable ups and downs also takes patience, but it is the drive that moves you forward and where you begin to see progress. That is the best part! Celebrate the small victories as well as the big ones and perseverance will carry through the project.


If you do not have the skills, then nothing will move forward.outdoorwriting Everything in life is a learning process. If you think that you have learned everything you need to know about writing a novel, you had better take a good hard look at your skills. There is always something new to learn or a skill to hone for every book. It is how writers grow and continue to evolve into the best writer you can be.

This is my simple version of why there are similarities of writing a novel and training a German shepherd. I had to remember these things when I was training my new dog. It took working with Odin to instill these realities. Thanks Odin!


Research and Writing Tip:

Do not take things for granted with your writing! Learn something new or rekindle some form of writing that has been on the back burner, such as journaling, poetry, short stories, taking a writing class, or writing in a completely different genre.


I would love to connect:



 Author Blog: https://authorjenniferchase.com/

Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase
Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting

About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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2 Responses to Writing a Novel is Like Training a German Shepherd

  1. Sue Coletta says:

    My first Rottie we named Odin. Your post brings back such happy memories. Odin kicked off a journey of having eight dogs, all of which have passed except one. Love him while you have him. They’re such precious members of the family, aren’t they? Your Odin is a good-looking boy, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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