Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Snow Shoveling vs. Writing
As I was shoveling snow this morning, I got to wondering which task, shoveling or writing, was easier/better/more satisfying. Let's look at it from the compare/contrast model so beloved by schoolteachers everywhere.
Shoveling snow is physically tiring. Writing is mentally tiring.
Snow shoveling burns calories. Sitting at a desk? Not so much.
Snow shoveling gets you outdoors. Writing - well, you can certainly do it outside in the summer, or if you live in tropical climes. In my neck of the woods? Only for part of the year.
Snow shoveling requires warm clothes. Writing? Clothing optional, I suppose, as long as one stays inside.
No strangers review my snow shoveling. I've never had my snow shoveling critiqued. OTOH, I rarely get complimented on it, either.
Nobody pays me to shovel snow. I do get paid to write.
Both can cause back troubles, if I don't use proper technique or posture.
But the biggest difference I thought of this morning?
When the driveway and front walks are cleared of snow, I am finished. There is no more to be done, until the next snowfall or spring. With writing, it isn't so easy to declare that the job is done. I simply have to decide that I'm at the point where changes will only be changes, not necessarily improvements, and it's time to submit. Nevertheless, I'm always wondering if I should have changed this bit here, or used a different point of view there, or made some other change(s). I can never say with 100% certainty that there's nothing I would change in a story, even after it's printed. So while snow shoveling may be physically taxing, at least it's over when it's over.