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:
- Shovel out my car
- Do my daily writing
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
And 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.