Thursday, 12 April 2012

K is for Kiteflying

It's letter K in my series "26 Things that Made Me a Writer"!

OK, this might seem a bit on the tenuous side for today's entry, but go with it. When I was little, flying a kite was one of my favourite pastimes. If you think about it, there are a lot of similarities with writing.

Imagine you took your kite up to your favourite spot on a windy hill every day. A lot of the time, it's just not going to take off. You think you catch a breeze only to end up bumping along the ground. Still, you can spend time enjoying the scenery, staring up at the blue sky, considering the possibilities.

And these off days are worth it for the ones when you catch a really good updraft and you end up soaring. The kite seems to take on a life of its own up there, much like your characters when they get really caught up in events. It's all you can do to manoeuvre the string. But it feels good to pay out just a little more, allow them just a little more free rein.

But even on a good day it can all go wrong and you end up crashing into the nearest tree (plot hole). Then it's a case of unravelling your string and starting all over again (revisions).

Got any hobbies you can liken to your writing?


Cynthia said...

I can compare my piano playing to my writing. With piano, I don't get a complicated song right the first time I play- it takes lots of playing and replaying to make something work. Same thing with writing- I don't get a story perfect with the first draft- I have to do a lot of revising, and more revising.

Elise Fallson said...

I like your comparison here. As a kid, I used to fly kites all the time at the beach and loved it. Your post brought back some really fond memories.

Sally said...

I love your comparisons, sometimes it feels as if you are just running and running trying to keep up with the kite.

Nick Wilford said...

Cynthia - Yep, practice makes perfect alright. Well, maybe not perfect - us creative types never feel we achieve that, do we? Hopefully get as near as possible!

Elise - Glad I brought back memories! For me it was more hills for flying kites, there are some great hills in the country near where I grew up.

Sally - Yeah, it's great when your story feels like it's going on its own momentum. I wasn't sure about this post, glad you enjoyed it!

Kyra Lennon said...

It's not tenuous at all, it's genius! I'm not so good with comparisons, but a friend of mine once wrote about how writing is like playing football! It was pretty cool!

Laura said...

that's not tenuous at all - seems perfectly logical to me. On a bad day... banging my head against a brick wall (not that that's a hobby!)
Nice to meet and follow you too!

Anonymous said...

Well, I can't really say that jogging is a hobby for me, but I do jog when the mood strikes. And I think jogging is a lot like takes a lot of perseverance.

Tina said...

Great entry, brought back a lot of memories, I had a huge peacock butterfly kite and loved to fly it in the meadow next to my childhood home, something about flying a kite that makes you feel so free. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Cheers. Tina

kjmckendry said...

I love kites! I haven't flown them much but there's something about seeing them soar. Love the comparison with writing.

For me figure skating fuels my inspiration. It's where I feel free.

icedgurl said...

trekking your blog!!! i miss kites! when i was young, we fly kites during windy summer...


C.B. Wentworth said...

Great analogy! :-)

I've always equated writing to running. There are days where I could for miles and days where I don't think I can go further than a block. The same is true with writing - some days I'll write a thousand words and others I'm lucky to get 20.

Shelley Sly said...

I like that comparison! I fully agree about the kite taking a life of its own, and running into plot holes. So true.

Sarah Tokeley said...

Does banging my head repeatedly against a wall count? ;-)

Lauren said...

Nice analogy. :)

Mina Burrows said...

Cool post! Hobbies? Not sure. I'll have to think about this one...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was never good at flying a kite.
Playing my guitar (any instrument for that matter) is probably similar.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Hmm, I would say walking on the beach is sort of like writing - you never know what you're going to find - an intricate shell (plot...) or some slimy seaweed (a bad, bad idea...)

Happy A-Z! :)

Anonymous said...

I like to walk and often ponder what I'm writing and what direction to go in. So they go hand in hand.

Nick Wilford said...

Kyra - Aw, you're too kind! I'm no football fan, but I would like to stick my ball, ie manuscript, in the back of the net (publisher's list)!

Laura - Glad you don't see that as a hobby! Nice to meet you!

Linda - Good for working out plots, too.

Tina - I agree, it makes you feel free, hopefully like writing! I had a dragon kite which was great.

Kathy - I couldn't do figure skating. Glad it inspires you!

Icedgurl - Yeah, it's a childhood pleasure, we don't do these things so much as adults sadly. Nice to meet you!

C.B. - If only we felt 100% each day!

Nick Wilford said...

Shelley - Thanks, glad you liked it!

Sarah - Another headbanger! Hope it's not a regular hobby. Though I do know what you mean!

Lauren - Thanks!

Mina - Thank you. Yeah, I don't really have any except reading these days. Writing is my job, of course!

Alex - I'd love to have the ability to play an instrument well and improvise.

Madeline - That's a nice one. Seaweed could represent a slimy villain.

Stephen - I do that too.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! Always felt so bad for Charlie Brown - between the kite and the football and the baseball team, poor kid didn't have much luck :)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Ha! I love the anaology! Brilliant :)
(I'm terrible at flying kites though hehehe)

Denise Covey said...

Hey Nick, I love this and I love your entries for the A-Z. I've never heard writing mentioned in the same breath as kite flying but it's brilliant. I like being in the updraft, when the characters and story take over until I'm out of breath.

Thanks for your visits to my childhood blogger posts.


Golden Eagle said...

Great analogy!

I'm envious of people who can actually get a kite off the ground. I've tried to, but they always sink back down. Or break, in one instance. :P

Sonia Lal said...

Hmm no not really. I've never flown a kite.

Sonia Lal, A to Z challenge

Jessica Salyer said...

Lovely analogy. I haven't flown a kite in forever! I should do that with my kids sometime.

Unknown said...

I love cooking and I see a lot of parallels between that and writing.

Hope you’re enjoying the challenge so far!
--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

J.L. Campbell said...

I like the similarities you draw between kiting and writing. Eastertime is when there's a lot of kite flying in my corner of the world.

Susan Oloier said...

I like this kite comparison because there truly are many times in kite flying and writing that prove frustrating and challenging. But when you do get that kite airborne (or find a flow in writing), it is phenomenal. Wonderful comparison.
(I almost made it as your 200th follower. Almost).

Nick Wilford said...

Jemi - I think that's why we all loved him!

Lynda - Thanks!

Denise - Thanks for your kind words. Yes, it's a great feeling. I'm enjoying your childhood posts.

Golden Eagle - I was never a maestro or anything. Broken a couple too (or had to get my dad to take over!)

Sonia - Give it a go!

Jessica - Hope you can introduce it to your kids.

Damyanti - Oh yes - trick is getting all the ingredients right and adding them at the right times... good one!

J.L. - Certainly a beautiful part of the world for kiting.

Susan - Brilliant when you get that "lift". Thanks for your comment!

200 followers now - woohoo! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Simon .. we used to try and fly kites at home - I would love to do some more kite flying now .. Have you read the Kite Runner? I have it here to read sometime .. cheers Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

Hilary - That's another one on my long TBR list!