Fear in Writing: Touching the rain

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Touching the rain

"I'm just going to touch the rain!" he protested.

I had just told my son to close the back door against the torrential downpour.  Really?  He wanted to let that in here?

But he didn't.  Jake just wanted to explore.  He just wanted to feel the rain.

How often do we say no out of some sense of propriety or safety that isn't necessary?

Would opening the backdoor really bring in so much rain?  In this case, no.  It brought in the sound of rain, the wonderful, drumming sound of rain.  Jake reached out with his curious hand and felt its wetness, stared for a moment, and that was it.  Nothing damaged.

What sort of boundaries do you need to let go?  How about in writing?  Is there anything stifling your imagination of which you are trying to be free?


  1. Great illustration! We get so set in our habits sometimes...

  2. I'm working on just letting go in my writing. I do so much editing that I often write and edit at the same time. It really prevents me from getting my words done for the day. I have to try to let my imagination run free. I have to curb my inner editor.


  3. oh, the most important thing you can do as a parent is develop and welcome Jake's curiosity as much as you can. Curiosity is the mother of wisdom and intelligence.

  4. Think I need to let go of the pressure.

  5. Will- Very true. I learn a lot from my little people.

    Clarissa- I have that problem, too. Some writers don't edit till their completely done--I wish I was that way! But I'm working to let go more there as well.

    Dez- True words, Dez. I have found it a struggle to embrace it only lately. I need to figure out what is going on inside me, I think...

    Alex- Aaaah...Yes, we all have that, don't we?

  6. My biggest problem is letting go of a manuscript once the writing is done -- I revise and revise, decide it's ready to submit, and start another round of submissions instead.

  7. The rain atory makes a great writing comparison. I think with both there is a danger of worrying future problems in a way that prevents you from fully embracing the present.

    With rain, a sensible adult mind may worry about getting wet, needing to change clothes or getting a chill etc, forgetting how enjoyable it can be to run and splash around, and feel the rain on your skin.

    With writing, I've found I can get too focused on planning how and if I will be able to publish a story before I've even finished writing it. This can definitely dampen enthusiasm and creativity, or tempt me to write the story 'safely' rather than explore it or push myself out of my comfortable writing zone.

  8. Good question, the answer of which often gets me in trouble ... cuz I seldom consider genre or politically correct restraints when writing from the heart ... which is the ONLY place to write from.

  9. yes! it is the same. I need to let myself get dirtier, more chaotic, especially at the first draft stage. And I have to make sure to allow that when I'm doing revisions too.

  10. Great post - letting go isn't easy. We've got ourselves pretty well conditioned to follow set patterns a lot. Gotta let go!

  11. business, clutters my mind - too much that concerns me at the moment.
    Clear the clutter!

  12. Oh, I have a LOT of boundaries I need to let go! :) I'm not quite ready to with my writing, but that's okay...I'm writing a genre with some boundaries of its own.

  13. Hello Michele! I love the image of your boy wanting to touch the rain. It's a nice analogy for writing as well. As for stifling my imagination... my fears of being not that good tend to make me less adventurous with my words, sometimes. I need to reach out and touch the rain as well!

  14. Some of my favorite memories as a child are when I stepped out and ran naked in the rain, my mom standing at the door with a towel waiting for me. I always think back to those moments of beautiful abandon. Thanks for reminding me.

  15. Patricia- That's a big problem I have DURING writing.

    Debbie- Safety is always an issue--both in writing and in life. You got that right! Letting go is something we constantly have to relearn, I think.

    Marvin- True: writing from the heart is the source of the most passion. But it can lead you too far astray...or can it? Hmmm...

    Jan- You are ALWAYS out digging, playing with chickens, and checking out new adventures. If YOU still need to let go, there is no hope for the rest of us! :)

    Jemi- Patterns are comfortable. But we get lazy in them...and where is the creativity in that?

    Michelle- Good for you. That's partly the point, isn't it?

    Elizabeth- Knowing the boundaries of your genre is important, too. Hmmm...I feel another post coming on!

    Jayne- Fear is normal, and that's when you need to let go the most! If you never reach out, you'll never feel the wonders. :)

    Meg- We let our children run in the aftermath-creek of a recent rainstorm. They talked about it for days! I've never seen them play so well together or giggle with such abandon. Mud was everywhere, but so what? We're all washable...Washable--another post theme, I think!

  16. Sorry, TheLadyWhoLunches! I meant to write out your full name, but was making sure I had the spelling write...

    Meagan! My long-lost friend.


  17. Oh you can call me Meg! That works for me. People I'm closest to do so.
    It really is so cool to have found you on here - blogging certainly does bring people together.