And at some point the novel will have to be written. Like the dog walk, I know it should be done every day, but unlike the dog, the novel doesn't have big appealing eyes and a mournful face. Perhaps if it existed in physical form - a stack of paper beside a battered typewriter, or a series of notebooks - it would be less easy to ignore. Because it's incredible how easy it is to spend a whole day intending to get down to writing the novel and end up going to bed without being a single word further along the line, especially when the deadline is months away.
When my dog was a puppy I trained him to perform to the command 'be quick'. It's especially handy on the late night walk around the block. If only I could train myself to respond to the same command because just as the dog needs walking every day, so does the novel. Be quick, Sarah! Be quick!