Web Writing Projects and Circling Your Prey

I’ve often been fascinated that when I throw a toy into the pool, my dog — though an avid swimmer — will circle and circle the pool endlessly before jumping in.

Dog Swimming

What is he worried about?

It must be something instinctive. I suspect it has to do with hunting prey. An animal considering a kill has to be wary. Should he attack this thing? Is it too big? Will it hurt him? 

All sorts of things can go wrong.

When considering a new web writing project, I find that I also “circle my prey.” I avoid starting it. 

Is this “thing” something I should do? Is it too big for my capabilities? Will I get hurt? Will I look stupid? Will my grandchildren despise me?

My mind goes wild.

Eventually, I just tell myself to suck it up and I start. My dog does the same thing. For whatever reason, after circling the pool dozens of times, he suddenly jumps in the pool and retrieves his toy.

The question remaining is “Was the circling worth it?” Did it do me, or the dog, any good?

I don’t know about the dog, but for me it’s a hard call. My first instinct is to say it was a waste of time and I should have just started right away. But the circling your “prey” is so instinctive, maybe it’s doing something inside our brains that preps us to attack that web writing project in just the right way.

What do you think? Is circling your prey worth the trouble?

Easy Furniture Web Tip #279: It’s natural to procrastinate before tackling a web writing project; it may even be helpful.


  1. Yes Kathy,
    I think “circling your prey “project” is well worth it. As well as in my industry to look over the project well, think it through and determine the best direction and starting point is always a positive toward the finished results. Sometimes even to think it from the finish point backward to beginning will avoid problems.

  2. Katherine – Love your Easy Web Tips but this one was special. It’s rare for me to “spin my wheels” or “circle my prey,” while sitting at my keyboard, yet it *does* happen. I’ve been a F/T freelancer since 2006, so it confounds me. Why now? What’s up? The imagery you offered, given I’m a lifelong dog owner, is a good reminder that: Not all gigs come with the assurance that our clients trust us to do right by them. That’s what I’m taking away from it, anyhow! – Christine

    • Katherine Andes

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Christine. Your takeaway is interesting. I find that my clients trust me, it’s me who doesn’t trust me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *