What Animals Can Teach Us About Writing

What is your favorite animal? Does your preferred species fly, swim, hop, or walk? For me, I love different types of bears, such as polar bears, panda bears, and koala bears. I even love sloths, too.

Animals can teach us about evolution, as well as the habits and routines of wildlife and nature. By tagging and tracking animals, humans are able to better understand how these creatures survive.

Animals do not just teach us about the way of life, but also the writing life. Together, species of various biomes and habits can give us some of the best advice about writing. If we just listen or look closer, we can see this all in front of us.


Be adaptable

Chameleons are born with a tactic that enables them to blend with their surroundings. By changing the color of their scales, they are able to lessen the chances of being preyed upon. Chameleons can adapt quickly to the space that surrounds them.

In connection to writing, authors must also be adaptable, able to take on a series of personas as they write for a variety of mediums. Writing a short story is different than crafting a press release. And writing a press release is different than creating a quick tagline for a company.

Not every writer will have the opportunity to write all of these things, but learning how to quickly adjust to the variety of these voices and forms is beneficial.

Honing in on this tactic, it can be helpful for writers to dabble in a variety of genres. A visiting writer at my college once said to not become comfortable, especially in your preferred genre. Experiment, try new things, venture into other genres. After all, it is one of the main ways you can grow as a writer.


Balance your components

Octopuses have a lot of limbs to travel with, each limb assisting in their underwater endurance and survival. It is these tentacles in which can help to realize a writing tip.

Writing is full of many components, narration and dialogue the two most obvious. But diving further into this wordy atmosphere, you will find much more. As your book unfolds, conflict arises, plot lines overlap and grow, and the pace speeds up. It can become a challenge to balance all of these components at once.

Proper balance can include not allowing your reader to forget about the sub-plot and smaller details, giving all your characters a voice and an important part to the story, avoiding dialogue to become too loud or narration to become too much. Proper balance is speaking with truth and also writing of flourishing description.

Make like an octopus and learn how to balance the many components of writing equally.



Penguins are cute waddling arctic dwellers. Their life cycle includes nurturing eggs and babies as a way to protect and keep them warm as arctic storms howl and icy winds blow.

The father penguins prop the eggs onto their feet, folding skin and fat around the egg. Meanwhile, the mother penguins travel many miles for food. Their travelings begin as the winter storms churn.

The father penguins attempt to keep themselves warm by huddling in large groups, where penguins rotate in and out of a circle, earning their own chance at warmer layers.

The sharing qualities of penguins can be used as inspiration for another writing tip. This tip is about sharing your writing with others, welcoming critiquing sessions. These sessions and workshopping opportunities allows for perspective and new ideas.

Luckily, as the writer, you are able to accept or turn down the critique suggestions. Listening to them and considering them can help to sharpen your craft and potentially create stronger, relatable, and more powerful writing.


Start from the ground up

Rather than nesting like bird eggs, sea turtle eggs are burrowed in layers beneath the sand. Once hatched, the babies crawl to the sand’s surface, finding water, and begin surfing within their new home.

Turtles, essentially, begin from the ground and work their way to the top. When it comes to the writing process, you are also starting from the ground. You start with minimal when outlining your story. Often times, an idea can be sparked from the smallest thing.

The best stories are abstracted into something bigger and monumental.

Starting from the ground up can take the pressure off of thinking of an initial idea that is super complex, magical, and unpredictable. Starting from the ground up can give you the perspective to take your time and form your story to its right size and impact.


Protect your voice

Dragonflies dart, hover, and fly very quickly. Their gauzy and colorful bodies and wings can dazzle, but did you know that male dragonflies can be a bit territorial? When they are protecting their home, they can be a bit snippy to their own kind if they feel their territory is being invaded.

This idea of protecting relates to a writing tip about always staying true to your writing voice and style.

It is important to find who you are as a writer. This is a journey that can be founded easily or take several years to tackle and discover. However, once found, adopt the mindset of a dragonfly and protect your writing voice and style with all that you are.

Do not second guess your words or the story that you are writing. Believe in your words, love them, and the world will catch on eventually. All good things and all things that are most worth it in life, take time.

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