Watch the Rain (what writers do when not writing)


I was camped out in the dining room, plugged in and tapping away on my laptop. I’d turned the radio off (unusually – I love loud music when I am writing). I think it’s the beats and rhythm that somehow match the rhythm of words. And if I am in ‘zone mode’ I will go faster when the music does!

But it was a different kind of writing day. Quiet. Reflective. I am picking at that unfinished work that I could have published maybe a year ago but just isn’t quite right yet. Not that I was having a non-productive day –  4 poems, some new ideas, a prose piece about life’s journey and a strange idea of a non-fiction work (I don’t do non-fiction).

Some days it’s the ‘wrong kind of writing’. That’s an oxymoron because there’s never ‘wrong writing’ but I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I want to start my next novel, or more precisely I want to finish it! Of course, I have to decide which story that is and start it (that’s a small issue, obv; they’re all in my head anyway, somewhere…).

Yet the day wasn’t working out as I wanted. It happens. It happens to everyone. I’d broken a plate earlier which I certainly didn’t want to do. And I had a small annoying headache that I was ignoring (mostly). The day felt like the tailing end of an annoying tangled chain. One that you keep trying to unpick but give up on too soon; then ignore for weeks but feel drawn back to [it could be a pile of papers/bills or a folder of emails, the spare room – – – you get it! 😉 ]

And, it was raining.

Not a gentle soft fall but a decent showering. Outside, through the patio doors the grass looked verdant and I could ‘hear’ it growing (it must not grow yet! I haven’t done the first cut I cursed sourly…). Then, I stopped. I unlocked the doors and simply stood and watched and listened.

There were faint sounds of traffic but hardly noticeable and no other obvious human invasions. A few birds sang joyfully, safely hidden in trees and bushes. The sky was white, as if a sheet had been pulled over making a childhood tent, isolating us from all others, making adults invisible and inaudible. The water pattered the hard paving and spilled down gutters. It seeped into grass, hedges and soft ground. It felt cold, stood in the doorway. But I was so calm in that few minutes. I didn’t notice the time, just stood a while until I felt satisfied (or too cold maybe?).

As a teenager I hated days like this. I would drown them out with heavy rock music. But I see the beauty in the strange stillness of days too wet to be outdoors and too dull to feel content indoors. It’s also a reminder that the world keeps turning even if I feel separated from it. That can be positive or negative, as a writer. Being connected is good for the soul but being ‘apart’ allows creativity to spiral in weird ways, which is what I am about.

Lately I have been disconnected from my virtual world (it is a love-hate thing, I know and accept that, I could never be a daily blogger – ew, shivering suddenly) but the rain felt like a long awaited refreshment. A reminder that ‘writing’ is rewarding to me, even if nobody else feels the same! It is

 Back at my dining-table desk I wrote this piece, as fat raindrops bounced off the glass.

So next time you’re busy and it rains (or snows or is windy) – stop. Take a moment to be still and enjoy it.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s