Day 23 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
My two hobbies (they are more like full-time occupations) are traveling and writing. And, since my topic for this A-Z Blogging Challenge covers the first one, the least I can do in regards to the second one is write a blog about it.
Although I have never gotten far with my writing “ambitions” (they weren’t ambitions until I recently moved ashore to focus on them a bit more), I have always enjoyed the act of writing. Even before computers were part of my life. I started writing a diary as a class assignment in fifth grade and I never really stopped after that. As a lazy teenager, my diaries were never more than a few lines a day in some kind of calendar booklet, but once I started traveling, I wrote pages and full notebooks for myself and extensive email reports to friends and family.
Since 1991 or so, I have been writing at least one page a day in my diaries, which boils down to 10-15’ per day for 25 years straight. When adventures were to be had, entries would become much longer. While the ink of my pen is fading in most of these books, one might wonder whether it was worth the time and effort. Since this year, I have been converted to the digital diary world! (And, I finally gave in to writing my daily musings in English instead of Dutch.) No more restrictions of “a page a day” and… no more evaporating ink. Only now, it takes me even longer every day to document my active, and not-so-active days, especially with one hand! Once I start writing…
While we sailed our boat Irie for eight years, I took up article writing. It offered me a great opportunity to practice my writing skills and to share our experiences and tips with the world. I like to inspire people to live a life less ordinary and, ideally, I like to make some money with my writing. I was fortunate (or skilled :-)) enough to get most of my articles published in the major sailing magazines of the US, Europe and the Caribbean. I still have a whole lot of ideas for future articles, but there never seems to be enough time for all the writing I want to do.
Also, since being on Irie, I have been occupied with writing blogs. Initially to keep friends and family up-to-date about our adventures and whereabouts, instead of bombarding inboxes with long emails. With the blog, people who were interested in our stories and photos could just hop over and have a look into our lives. Over the years, the readership built a little bit with fellow cruisers, armchair cruisers and future cruisers interested in aspects and tips about the lifestyle. Once we sold Irie, however, there was no reason to post sailing stories anymore. Mark and I are keeping the It’s Irie website, but because we are happily committed to another lifestyle right now (house and pet sitting throughout the US and possibly internationally), I started this blog in November 2015.
“How about that other thing you are writing?” some of my die-hard fans might wonder. Yeah, yeah… the book thing. I blatantly announced, many months ago now, that I am writing a book about our sailing and relationship experiences while on Irie, more a behind-the-scenes account of life aboard. And, I still intend to do this. As a matter of fact, besides all the notes I took over the years, the diaries I filled, the blog posts I created and the articles I produced, I have actually started to write my book. I have a 90,000 word outline, about three chapters written (of the intended 22) and a hundred thousand thoughts and ideas. But, here’s the thing, I have many excuses to focus on other things than on writing my book. Like this month’s A-Z Blogging Challenge for example. It is seriously taking up most of my time. At least I am still writing. And then, there are these excuses of…
…moving from house sit to house sit
…dealing with my Greencard procedures (more about that in the near future)
…visiting family at our home base for ten days
…getting settled in this new place (which I will write about in May)
…feeling the need to read books for a while, to be inspired to write (still waiting for the inspiration!)
…not being happy with my book progress and being bummed about it
…focusing on the fact that I don’t have a common thread or theme yet and wasting time trying to figure this out
…assisting Mark with Wirie related topics
…researching writing outlets and writing tips
…realizing what a beautiful day it is, and going for a walk rather than sit behind a computer
…reading other people’s blogs and leaving comments
…bugging editors to get my work published as promised
…being motivated to start on a book proposal and pausing that idea after some weeks of composing
…catching up with emails to friends and family
…exciting stuff happening on Facebook (I try to be stern with myself here and only check when some work has been achieved)
…applying for online jobs, but never hearing back
…thinking that I need to change my whole idea around and start over again (I am convinced of this and will take action in June)
…my upcoming trip to Belgium (I can’t use my precious time there to write!)
As I wrote before, I am still hoping and planning to write this book, and I am trying my hardest to not have anything more exciting interrupt the process or cause distractions, but… soon it will be summer and there are so many amazing things to do around here!
Are you easily distracted from your tasks? What are your hobbies? Do you find enough time for them? Have you been able to turn your hobby into your job?
Only a few more days to go during this A-Z Challenge. Thank you for visiting and being engaged. My previous A-Z 2016 posts can be found here. Tomorrow, I will be back with “X is for Xenophilia”, your word of the day! 🙂