Facebook

04 November 2015

4 Ways That Writing A Novel Is Like Being A Sailor

As some of you know, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this month with the goal of churning out a 50,000 word draft novel by the end of November. I recently joined a great support group for insecure writers on Facebook. As I've engaged in conversation with the awesome folks over there, I've realized that writers and sailors actually have quite a bit in common.

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.

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!

Linked up with the Insecure Writer's Support Group.



Image Sources - The Graphics Fairy & LINZ

40 comments:

  1. Good analogies...good luck in that novel. Put me down for a copy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww...thanks so much Susie! Looking forward to meeting you when you get down to Indiantown :-)

      Delete
  2. And never stop believing. Welcome to IWSG, Sailor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joylene! It's such a great group - so supportive!

      Delete
  3. Excellent article. Just keep writing (or sailing). You have to keep moving. Love all your quotes, too.
    Play off the Page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mary. I keep reminding myself of that - keep writing, writing, writing and so on.

      Delete
  4. Sounds like a fun adventure although it's a lot of work too. You'll do fine.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
  5. William Faulkner said we would never reach our destination if we never left the shore! Great post. Have fun in your journey. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful quote! That may just show up in a blog post one of these days ;-)

      Delete
  6. Yeah, I'm never going to own a boat. Kids are enough to worry about. =) And writing. Did I mention writing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boats are the ultimate money pit - avoid them if you can!

      Delete
  7. Love this comparison between sailors and writers! I've never owned a sailboat, but my in-laws used to, and I think that live-aboard life is definitely far more like the writing life than most other types of "normal" living arrangements. I definitely think we're all exploring new territories.
    Welcome to IWSG! I'm glad to meet you this month.
    Tyrean Martinson
    blog: http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/
    e-mail for writing: tyreantigger@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for popping by Tyrean! It's great to be a part of IWSG!

      Delete
  8. Great post! That top one about the ship sailing makes me laugh. My husband is a bit eccentric and often people who don't know us well think, how'd those two get together? Then they know me further and see the normal ship sailed off ages ago. Some of us are better at hiding it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true - some of the most "normal" people that I've met are actually some of the least "normal" once you get to know them.

      Delete
  9. I really like the way you see the world! It's so . . . normal (to me). ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting take. A fresh point of view is never wasted at IWSG. :-)

    If you have time drop by.

    Anna from Elements of Writing

    ReplyDelete
  11. Who wants to be 'normal'? right. That ship has sailed. Great post. How do you come up with all these ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is what happens when you procrastinate boat projects. You have all sorts of time to do the crossword puzzle, count the number of cans of beans you have, read books and, of course, write blog posts. No wonder nothing ever gets done around here :-)

      Delete
  12. Great post! And I love the quotes you used. I'll have to pin some of them on my writing quotes board. Welcome to the IWSG!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle - glad you liked the quotes!

      Delete
  13. Interesting!
    What is 'normal', anyway? And according to whose definition of normal?
    It reminds me of something my hubby always says - when 50 people agree on something and 2 people disagree, does that make the 50 people correct? They could be 50 fools... LOL
    The Margaret Atwood quote is the best. Great reminder!
    Happy IWSG Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your hubby sounds like a very smart man. That herd mentality will get you every time. Just because most people believe something, doesn't mean it's true.

      Delete
  14. Great post...especially since I left my purse, with my reading glasses, in a restaurant. All the graphics made it so easy to read!! Anyway, good luck with NaNo! I'm spawoman if you want more buddies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you could read it :-) Some bloggers (usually the really young ones) use the tiniest font on their blogs and I can never read it without zooming in.

      Delete
  15. Well put Master Mariner and Salty Mate! Have a 'like' and a 'follow' on me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love all of these and the sea too! Nano is still going pretty good for me, I expect a slowdown tomorrow because of my schedule but I will catch up! Keep writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Doreen. It's good to know that other folks are having a good experience with Nano..

      Delete
  17. lol my ship has so many holes it always needs to be fixed, crazy as can be as well. Normal flew out the window long ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It always freaks me out slightly that we have several holes below the waterline. I know that they're there for a purpose, but holes on a boat, BELOW the waterline - well, that's scary stuff. Every time I flush the head, I think to myself, this is it, the water is going to keep coming in the boat and not stop :-)

      Delete
  18. Happy sailing on the good ship NaNo! Just remember to have fun. I think the month will fly past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's already flying past! I can't believe it's the 6th already - I better get my skates on. Thanks for stopping by the good ship NaNo :-)

      Delete
  19. I'm looking forward to reading your finished product! I did nanowrimo one year and knocked out my 50,000 words in the form of a play instead. I then produced and directed it for our local community theater. It was a BLAST... but more importantly it really reminded me of how much I love to write! I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes from a sailor doing nanowrimo! I'll buy a copy for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so encouraging to hear of other people who made it through NaNo! And it's so cool that you then did the play at your community theater! Thanks so much for the support Byn :-)

      Delete
  20. Constantly fixing things and aiming for perfection - that's so true!
    Glad you found the IWSG Facebook and blog group - welcome.

    ReplyDelete

We LOVE when people leave comments. It's so much more fun hearing what you have to say. If you have a blog, make sure you leave a link and I'll be sure to pop on by.