1 - You're not quite normal.
Some people are driven to live a life a bit less normal. Of course, everyone has their own idea of what normal is. Some people chafe at the thought of conforming to whatever their community, family, school etc. told them normal is.
"You want to write a novel? Are you out of your mind? You need to think about your future and get real job!"
"You want to sell your house and move onto your boat? Are you out of your mind? That's no way to raise children!"
Some people are happy to let society's "normal ship" sail off without them. They create their own meaning of normal.
2 - You're constantly fixing things.
Anyone who lives on a boat knows the joys of having a never ending project list. There are constantly things needing to be fixed. Nothing ever works properly and everything requires constant attention and maintenance. It is a never ending battle. And an expensive one too.
Writers have to fix things too. They proofread, edit, rewrite, proofread some more, edit again, send their draft out for review, edit some more, proofread yet again, rewrite some more and the cycle goes on and on. Which kind of leads me to my next point.
3 - You're never going to get it quite right.
Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors and I just love this quote of hers. Simple and straight to the point. I should probably write this on the back of my hand so I keep it at the forefront of my mind. One of the challenges of NaNoWriMo for me is writing every single day this month. Even if what I've been writing is pure rubbish, I still have to keep writing. I need to remember that it doesn't have to be perfect, it's the doing that's important. I might not end up writing an award winning novel, but eventually I'll have written something. And that's more than many people can say about themselves.
Sailing is a bit like that too. I'm not the world's best sailor. I'm pretty sure that Team New Zealand isn't going to be calling me anytime soon to crew in the America's Cup. Honestly, I can never figure out how to trim a sail properly, but I need to remind myself that it's okay, it doesn't have to be perfect, I just have to try. Eventually, we'll get where we're going to.
4 - You're charting new territories.
Whether you're a writer or a sailor, you're charting new territories. You're exploring new places and ideas. Whether from a sailboat or from inside your imagination, you're experiencing something new. Sailors stretch themselves outside of their comfort zone, they conquer their fears and they set off into the unknown to create new memories and experiences. Writers do much the same - they stretch their imagination, they conquer those inner voices and demons and they set off in the unknown to create something new using the magic of the written word.
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