Saturday, June 18, 2011


"A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are for."
- Benazir Bhuto

I have to be up front: I borrowed/stole this quote from Pasadena Daily Photo, a blog belonging to Petrea Burchard. She has just completed her first novel. Having conceived of the idea, she wrote it, polished it and, rather than hide it away, she's sent it off in search of a publisher. The manuscript is now making the rounds of the editors, risking being sent back with a rejection slip. That takes courage. But she's doing it. She'll never know whether she might get to enjoy seeing her book published unless she's willing to risk its rejection.

I am working on my own book, struggling to put the words in the correct order, to clearly express my ideas. This writing stuff is hard. I research, take notes and try to shape the story in a way that is both compelling and interesting, so that the reader will just naturally want to do further reading beyond my own small book. It scares me. It's taking me away from the comfort zone of dreams into the real work of achieving a goal. I try to maintain the courage of my conviction, as stated in the above quote.

A friend and I had a saying, when talking about our own boat, that "there are two kinds of boat owners - floaters and boaters." Floaters kept their boat tied to the dock, maintained it, shared beer with their buddies and rarely took it for more than a short spin around their "pool," while boaters left the marinas for long trips. For years, we worked on our boat, upgrading it, repairing it, painting and scraping it (my job!), but it was never "ready." We were in danger of becoming another pair of the dreaded "floaters," until we realized the boat would never be ready, we'd just have to go. And so we did.

The picture is from one of those first trips. Along with several other sternwheel boats we traveled the Ohio River from Marietta, Ohio to Wheeling, West Virginia. It became an adventure, one that, for me, helped me to find a sense of confidence that's never left me, and helped me to realize that I could achieve far more than I'd ever thought possible.

I try to keep that in mind as I work on my book. Every day.


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