Distraction The Writing Life
Charlotte Rains Dixon  

It’s a Special Day Here (And How That Relates to Writing)

My cat, Captain, naughtily sitting on the kitchen table watching the snow.

It’s a special day here for a couple of reasons. First–


Ever since I was a little kid (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) I’ve loved snow. People think that since Portland is relatively far north, we get a lot of it. But we don’t.  We’ve not gotten a good snowstorm since 2008, and the last few winters we’ve seen nary a flake. But not today.  Because today it is snowing!

I love the beauty of snow as it falls and the way it mutes the world and makes everything seem cozy.  I love the way it makes everyone and everything slow down.  Because, you have to understand, when it snows here in Portland, things literally do slow, pretty much to a complete stop. Schools were closed today before a single flake fell, and most government offices are as well. The local news runs snow coverage non-stop, and most people come home from work early or fail to go at all.  Which is good, because we don’t have much in the way of equipment to sand or salt and so even the slightest bit of snow can result in epic traffic jams. (Because we don’t know how to drive in it, either.)

All this adds up to, at least for me, a lot of distraction. Because I love all this so much, I’m constantly running to the window, texting family members, checking in with the news.   Which means I’m not getting a lot of writing done.   And you know what? That’s okay.  I’ve lowered my expectations, as I so often advise my students and readers to do, and I’m allowing myself to enjoy this snow day while still getting a little done. (This blog post, for instance.)

And here’s the even more special part of this day:

It’s my grandson’s fifth birthday.  I can’t believe this child has been on the planet for five years, and I can’t imagine what we did before he came.  This is a boy who casually uses the word replicate correctly in a sentence and has spoken in precise, complete sentences since he was two.  A boy who can sit for hours and read books by himself, and can also build the most amazing creations out of scavenged materials.  A boy who will tire of playing with his peers at recess and plop down next to his teacher and say, “Well, so what should we talk about?”

Moral of the story for writers: be yourself. Because, famously, everyone else is taken.  But, truly, Henry reminds me of this adage over and over again.  He doesn’t care what anybody thinks of him and he doesn’t censor any of his creative ideas, ever. He’s one of a kind and ready to share it with the world.

As we, as writers, should be, but too often aren’t.  We worry about what people will think, if the book will sell, how many words the manuscript should be. When really we should only be worrying about splashing words on the page. Which I am now going to go do. Just as soon as I check to see how the snow is doing.

Are you a snow lover or a snow hater? Leave a comment and let me know.

By the way, next week I’m going to be offering some cool freebies to people signed up on my list.  So if you aren’t all ready, you can opt in by filling out the form to the right. And you’ll get a free ebook on creating a vision board for your book, too!

2 thoughts on “It’s a Special Day Here (And How That Relates to Writing)

  1. J.D.

    Congratulations on your grandson’s birthday. I think he has a bright future. I don’t mind snow. My wife loves snow. She has that luxury because it doesn’t put her out at all lol. Happy Holidays.

    1. Charlotte Rains dixon

      Happy holidays to you and Donna and the whole family!

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