Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sailing is Like Writing Because...(a new & updated version)

I've been sailing, and living aboard a sailboat, for most of the last 30 years. I'm also a writer, and have worked at some combination of writing, editing, publishing, and teaching writing for the last two decades. So, I know a little bit about both pursuits. I wrote an earlier version of this a few years back, which I just updated, below.
Sailing is like writing because:

You need a destination, but often the best part of the voyage happens when you get off course—assuming you don't end up on the rocks. We write to get to the end of the story, but often we don't know what that will look like, until we get there.

Getting there is not just half the fun, it's all the fun; sailing is about enjoying the moment, being completely in the here and now, not rushing toward some arbitrary goal (if you were in a rush, you'd have a power boat, or an airplane!).

It's something people all over the world have been doing for thousands of years, in order to explore, learn, and reach out—it is still fun to do, and nearly impossible to get to be an "expert" at!

Most people think it is easy, even if they've never done it. It's enviable, but somehow people still think they could easily do it, too, if they just had the time...Wish I had a dollar for every time someone said, "Gosh, that must be such a fun life, traveling and living on a boat." Sure it is, sometimes, but it is hard work a lot of the time.

Those who don't sail don't "get" it—and that's okay. It's impossible to explain what's so darn great about it, if you don't experience it yourself, in just the right way.

Sailing, like writing, uses your body and mind for an activity that often taxes them, but combines and unites them in unique ways that can sometimes be transcendent—allowing us to glimpse what is eternal and true.  
We are sailing north, and have gotten as far as the Santa Barbara Channel. Tucked into Channel Islands harbor, we are awaiting the proper winds to continue on our journey. This isn't like writer's block (which I don't believe in), this is simply us being patient, and taking care to stay safe (if you have all your eggs in one basket—watch that basket!). 
You almost never have to stop writing to save your life. In fact, sometimes you have to write to save it. So that is one way that sailing is NOT like writing. 
Good news is, I did some writing today—and not just this blog post. I'll keep you updated on our travels.
hasta pronto!