A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go on a short cruise around the Channel Islands. I’d never been on one before and was up for trying something new. We weren’t due to stop at any ports but rather sail around the English Channel admiring the views from afar.
For many, the highlight may have been the entertainment that was put on for us or sampling the vast array of food on offer but, for me, it was leaning on the railings, looking out to sea, the salty air in my face, my hair in the wind.
Sometimes, I’d close my eyes and imagine being on a sailboat, centuries ago, off on adventure somewhere new. I’d dream up stories and scribble them down in a notebook in my cabin as the sun sank into the waves.
It’s wonderful when words sail.
Words seem to breeze onto the page with the effortlessness of a boat that has caught the right wind. But then there are days when the writing boat bobs on the water going nowhere. I’m stranded on the ocean, wondering if I’ll ever make it back to shore.
I’ve found that waiting for the breeze to return doesn’t work. Sitting at a desk, hoping for words, is rarely the answer. Instead, I’ve learned that it’s best to open my sails and make my own breeze by writing in my creative journal. I’ll write anything in it. Thoughts about my day. How I slept. What I ate. My feelings. My hopes. My dreams.
As ink swishes across the page, my boat begins to move, ideas for plot lines and characters begin to surf across the waves and I’m away.
If your writing boat is bobbing on the water, don’t wait for the wind.
Move your pen instead. Open up your sails and write.