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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I haven't been shoveling snow, or writing. I have been trying to Ilka-proof my yard. It has been frustrating, to say the least. One side of the yard has chicken wire and/or hardware cloth laid along the fence to keep her from digging out. She managed to find the ONE spot at the end where she could, so she did.

We are cold. Okay, you propably wouldn't consider it that cold, but to us it's cold. We are hoping to reach a high of 39F. I'm not holding my breath. It is currently 34F, and the wind chill is 24F. The humidity is 50% (dry!). The dogs and I walked over 3 1/2 miles earlier today, when it was only in the 20's and the windchill in single digits. Ilka doen't like the wind in her face.

My nephew-in-law works for the Oklahoma DOT. You know it's bad when the snowplow slides off the road and into the ditch. According to my sister, they left it there. I've driven that road, and I know that ditch. I don't blame them for leaving it.

We are supposed to be gatting sleet/winter mix/snow starting tomorrow. It's going to be a mess.


PS Excellent job of both shoveling snow and writing.