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I am a writer. I can say that with absolute assurance. Not because of the stuff I have out there, both published and self published, that just makes me an author…but because of the dog.

When I had both space and time to paint, I never really thought of myself as an artist. Not even during that wonderful time when my paintings were selling for what my day job was paying me for a month’s work and the commissions I was getting took me to venues that were little short of amazing to me. I can see the work of the real artists… andΒ  see quite clearly where my skills do not match my vision. The pictures in my mind are fabulous… my hands still have way too much to learn to translate them to canvas the way I would like. I was simply lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and was given the opportunity to work doing something I dreamed of doing.

Still, I do love painting… but I never thought of myself as an artist until the hyperactive, ball touting tigger-hound stopped bouncing for a little while when I picked up the brush. She would come into the back bedroom that served as a studio and sit quietly beneath the big easel, making no demands, not moving, just keeping me company. As soon as I put down the brushes, she would be back to her old self. It was as if she was taking me seriously; as if she recognised the change of mood and meditative absorption that painting induces and gave it some sort of value and approval…validation. I felt like an artist because the dog behaved as if what I was doing actually meant something. Enough that it was more important than throwing balls.

Until recently, I wrote at a makeshift, homemade desk with little space and less legroom. When I moved the thing fell to bits and had to be replaced. I now have a desk with both space and legroom… or I did.

For the first few weeks, Ani sat on the sofa while I worked, or brought me the usual balls and tug-toys to distract me. Now I have a furry footstool – cum- footwarmer. She has adopted the kneehole beneath the desk and curls up there while I work. Usually on my shoes or slippers, whichΒ  believe is so that I can’t escape far without her knowing.

And I feel like a writer. For all the reasons she made me feel like an artist. Being an author is a privilege I never really dreamed of. Self publishing has made that dream accessible to everyone these days and the number of voices now being heard, that would never have been given the chance in the old days when turnover and sales figures dictated whether or not there would be an interested publisher,Β  that is wonderful.

But to feel like a writer… as if the words and the work have value… that is a completely different matter. Curled on my overheated feet… Ani has managed what a dozen books have not.

I am a writer.

The dog says so.

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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62 Responses to Validation

  1. Shadeau says:

    “To feel like a writer…the dog says so”–this is full of heartfelt meaning–I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. C.E.Robinson says:

    Sue, Ani is one smart dog! Yep, you are a writer! Believe it! Happy weekend! πŸ’› Elizabeth


  3. Lovely, clever dog-and she’s completely right!


  4. Love this Sue. I have no doubt Ani is affirming you as a writer, recognizing that energetic shift when you consciously settle, focus and open to inspiration. Animals don’t lie πŸ™‚ Harula x


  5. Jessie Martinovic says:

    well done, oh look at that face!


  6. A wise dog. Animals sense things your dog knows who you are without a doubt! Excellent post. πŸ™‚


  7. janmalique says:

    You are a great writer and your Muse says. Perhaps you and Ani should be renamed the Dynamic Duo. It is rather a special relationship.


  8. jenanita01 says:

    I had the feeling the move would be good for both of you, lovely to see you relaxing and settling down…


  9. I guess animal’s lover make good writers πŸ˜‰
    Have a great Sunday :-)claudine


  10. Judy Martin says:

    You are definitely a writer, and Ani is a clever girl! πŸ™‚


  11. Bernadette says:

    Unconditional love, unconditional validation. Dogs are so wise.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The perfect validation. From her spirit to yours. πŸ’•


  13. And you can always trust the dogs. They know. They always know.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Helen Jones says:

    Validation indeed, Sue! Wise Ani πŸ™‚


  15. Mary Smith says:

    Ani is a very wise small dog.


  16. Widdershins says:

    The Universe (or the deity of one’s choice) works in mysterious ways. I suspect there a piece of art, of one sort or another, that needs to be channeled fairly soon, and Herself (my choice of deity) has decided to get herself (small black dog) on the case. πŸ˜€


  17. Denis1950 says:

    Beautiful story Sue, sounds like Ani was an artists model in a previous life or maybe a French Impressionist painter herself!


  18. Angie says:

    Beautiful! My cats go their own merry way, but if I am writing in the office, they end up in there for naps…on the table, on the papers I’m using, on my notebook, in the window overlooking my desk, and occasionally on my lap. They want to be near. But not in the Ani way. Just the cat way. LOL. No foot warmers here!


  19. dgkaye says:

    Those who know of you, know you’re a wonderful writer. We tend to be our own worst critics. But I’m glad you finally realized you’re validated by Ani. πŸ™‚


  20. And a damned good one, too. I trust Ani’s instincts. Dogs, like most other animals, have no hidden agenda, (well, maybe with the exception of Lion’s and Tigers and Crocodiles etc., who see us as meals-on-legses), but I digress, dog’s love you for what they see and they see with very keen senses. Nice one, Ani…and you too, Sue. πŸ˜‰


  21. Eliza Waters says:

    I’m glad I saved this post in my email to when I could give it proper attention and so glad I did, as I love it! Ani is such a dear. πŸ™‚


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