Sailing Out – Why You Need To Raise Your Anchors And Let The Wind Guide You

Stranded Until Spring
image: finbar_mad

Too often we spend so long planning our creative projects down to every last little detail that by the time we actually start, all our motivation has evaporated.

Worse than this, sometimes we even plan how we’re going to approach how we’re going to plan how we’re going to approach how we’re going to create, and end up so far removed from the act of creating – the making of glorious new art in the uniquely beautifully shape of you – that we forget how it feels altogether.

It’s no wonder that we find we’re not creative.

We’re lost in the myriad mental mazes of our making and not letting ourselves engage in the pleasures of creating.

We need to devote less time to sitting on the edge of the harbour with our toes dangling over the edge, looking out across the ocean and wondering what wonderful lands might be beyond, and actually dive into the water and start swimming.

If we aim to traverse the world though – if we truly want to create to our deepest potential (and I know that you want that as much as I do) – we need to be more than just a strong swimmer.

We need to raise anchor and sail out, in the sturdiest ship we can find.

Where do we find such a ship? One that will take us through the warmest of sunshine and the fiercest of storms, through both tranquil waters and tempestuous currents?

The good news is you already have it, right there in the harbour. It’s just waiting for you to step on board and set sail.

Your ship – the vessel that’s going to take you through your greatest creative voyages and beyond – need only be simple.

It might look like this:

– Your ship takes the form of creating a little each day, to build indestructible creative habits. Soon you’ll barely be able to remember a time when you went more than a few hours without creating, let alone days or weeks.

– Your ship takes the form of having only what you need – the creative essentials. It can’t be laden down with a thousand tools that you might just use one day but probably never will.

– Your ship takes the form of building your confidence by experimenting in small ways at first with new directions, new ideas, new media.

– Your ship takes the form of having a willing, loyal crew around you to help keep you strong through the rough times, and to celebrate with you as you reach wonderful new shores.

– Your ship takes the form of being small, agile, able to dart playfully through any seas, and actually revel in the enjoyment of every inch of the journey.

Our greatest learning and evolving comes only from doing. 

You’re not going to figure out how to paint abstract work like the great artists you admire by just sitting there thinking about it. You have to take the lids off the paint and throw some on the canvas.

You’re not going to know what you love if you never give it a try.

There might be art forms you’ve never tried, art forms you’ve never even heard of yet, that will become your most treasured language and fit your way of expressing all those ideas within you better than anything else before.

You cannot travel and discover unless you raise up your anchor, set aboard your ship, and let the wind guide you.

Remember we’re out here sailing with you too. It’s the same ocean, we’re fellow sailors.

Maybe sometimes we’re guided by the same currents, the same tailwind.

Let’s go see the big wide world out there, and the incredible worlds within us.

Let’s sail.


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4 thoughts on “Sailing Out – Why You Need To Raise Your Anchors And Let The Wind Guide You”

  1. I can really relate to this! I used to love art at college and then over the years just kept putting off doing it, thinking i wouldn’t be very good and just didn’t know where to start. In May I just decided to sit down and do some art everyday no matter how small, it was amazing! It all just came back to me, it wasn’t all great but just the process of being creative was brilliant.


    1. That’s a great example Louise, thanks for sharing it with us. Like you say, regardless of what you create, the very act of showing up for a daily creative practice unlocks all kinds of things. Then, once we realise how enjoyable and important it is, we naturally are urged to make more time to create more, it becomes the obvious and essential way to progress. It all flows from there…


  2. This is a great extended metaphor for creativity. Thanks for the concrete action steps…it’s sometimes too easy to just sit back and think about what I could be doing instead of actually doing it.


    1. It’s ALL too easy to plan ourselves into oblivion. We need a starting point, a fragment of an idea, but then let’s be brave more often and run with it, start making the art that comes. You will always get different results (and offshoot bonuses like Happy Accidents) when you just get down to creating without all the fine details plotted out. It leaves room for a little mystery and magic.

      Thanks for reading Joel.


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