Blizzard – of snow and of words

I’m not sure whether it was an official blizzard, but the storm that socked us this weekend left at least a foot of snow, with drifts around my car that easily topped 18 inches. Not to mention the two-foot bank of hard-packed snow the town’s plows kindly left at the end of my driveway.

I know far more about the snow than I had planned to. My yard guy was supposed to plow my driveway. But with the daylight fading, I decided I couldn’t wait for him any longer. So I had a choice to make yesterday:

  1. Shovel out my car
  2. Do my daily writing
blizzard in my backyard
At least I don’t have to shovel the backyard!

Yes, I have deposited a blizzard of words here on the interwebs in the last 257 days. Now that the streak has its own momentum I no longer write first thing in the morning, as I used to, though I do try to write before I leave the house. Today, I decided: shovel first, write second.

An hour later, I could barely lift my shaking arms.

Shoveling snow is hard work. But so is writing. Yes, it’s much less taxing on the arm muscles. But it does require a functioning brain—which I’m not quite sure I have right now.

So I’ll be filling in the rest of my daily 15 minutes with some deliberate practice: rewriting Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” as prose.

Take your favorite poem, set the timer for 15 minutes, and go.

Start your own blizzard

my blizzard of words: Writing for 258 days in a rowAnd now my streak stands at 258 days. It’s remarkable what repeated, deliberate practice can do for a skill.

If you’re ready to start a writing streak of your own, join the new 5×15 Writing Challenge—writing starts January 23rd. When you write for 15 minutes every day for five days in a row, I’ll donate your $15 registration fee to the global literacy nonprofit Room to Read. So you’ll be doing something good for yourself and for other people.

Join us!