The ‘rainy day’ essay and the grown-up art of writing well

by 21cstories

Remember the topic essay ‘A rainy day’, that school kids are sometimes asked to write? How would you approach it today, in terms of the writing process?

I guess we would simply start exploring our new adult experiences (traffic, puddles, crowds, sweat, and the rush to reach office on time, or the romantic version of drizzles on the window pane). Words will pour out as we begin with the first sentence. And the conclusion will be a mushy musing on life or heart felt longings. A cute drizzle of thoughts on paper.

That’s how we usually write an essay. And truly everything else we write. I don’t remember how I wrote as a kid. But that’s how grown-ups write.

But deep inside, there is a feeling that, may be, it was not all that we wanted to write. It wasn’t the whole truth. There was more in us as we wrote that final sentence. The thought process that began with the first one still resonated inside.

Well, breathe easy; an essay is never complete. But is there a way to organize the writing process, so that at the end of it there is a pleasurable sense of having said what one longed to say?

A good writing practice is to jot down all of the related thoughts at the top before phrasing out the first sentence. Note down the related associations, incidents, objects, specific words and phrases that come to mind.

Next, interconnect them and see the pattern of your write-up emerge. This won’t take more than 5-10 minutes for a short write-up.

Then start writing.

How does it sound to you?