Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rules and Kites

Post by Elisabeth TenBrink Kelley, co-founder

     I very recently moved from Mexico to the state of Washington. Being who I am, I hated it. I hate change, it's simply who I am. But, with the change came new things, new experiences, and the new experiences brought new views, understanding, and inspiration. This week I went kite flying with my grandma, and I realized how writing is very much like flying, and then I realized that all the arts are like it. Heck, maybe every skill is.

     When flying a kite, you have to wait for a good wind. You can, of course, run to make your own wind, but once you run out of room to run, your kite will fall down again. Running can make a poor winds enough to get up to the higher winds, but in and of itself is not enough. To me, the wind represents luck. But to fly a kite well, you need to understand when to let out string, and when not to. If you let out too much string, your kite will fall, but if you don't let out any, it will stay close to the ground, subject to the fickle near-ground winds that constantly die, pick up, and die again.
     Your hand, your holding of the string, is rules. All the different writing/drawing/painting/poetry rules that exist are represented by your hand. When you hold it down, the kite catches the wind and soars higher. Once it has enough height, you let out more string, the equivalent of trying some things that aren't in the rulebook, and your potential increases.  As you get higher (more skilled), you can let out more string (ignore the rules more).
     The greatest writers ignore the rules, because the important things are natural, and the things that can be bent or broken, they can have the skill to do without. Everyone needs to follow the rules at the beginning, to learn, and as they progress, they can do their own thing more. They are at the point where they would fly highest if they just let go of the kite and let it soar on its own. Of course, in real life we never do that because we like to keep our kites.

     I am an amateur artist when it comes to drawing. I make some pretty good stick figures, and a single, unpaired eye (I can never make them match) but that's really all. Remember when Josie posted that awesome art tutorial? It made me feel empowered, like I could finally draw something well, but instead I left the instructions and ended up failing, because I'm not at that point in my drawing skills. My kite is crashing into the trees because I give it too much string.

     What about you? Are you giving yourself too much string? Too little?

Elisabeth TenBrink Kelley is an aspiring author and poet. To learn more about her, see our About Us page. You can follow her on Twitter here: @ElisabethGTK.

 We have a synopsis contest currently open, which you can find here. Our haiku contest is past the deadline, and we will announce the winner on the first of May both here and in our newsletter, which you can sign up to here.


  1. Great analogy! But you'll notice that once you hit the right wind current, your kite stays up. Maybe that's like when you find your style of writing.

    1. Oh, that's a really good analogy, Fury! I like it. :D

    2. Yeah, exactly! It's when you have the confidence and ability to write what comes to you, and to do it right, without worrying about the rules.