Saturday, January 27, 2007


"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship."
Louisa May Alcott

To a landlubber, sailing looks so easy. For he believes one just gets in the boat, hoists the sails, and lets the wind do the rest. Of course, any sailor would scorn such a description! Armed with needed terms: hull, stern, keel, bow, helm, rudder, he understands the wind's goal is to capsize the boat, and his job is to keep it afloat. "It is an exciting game, in which man usually comes out ahead, but the wind gains enough victories to keep its courage up."(How to Sail)

Isn't it the same with writing? Armed with writing terms: thesis, voice, point of view, metaphor, symbolism, doesn't the writer struggle to keep her craft afloat by coaxing the words to "suit her own ideas"? Doesn't she find writing to be "an exciting game" when words billow onto the paper or swell into waves that crash against one another? Doesn't the writer who perseveres "come out ahead"? And by always sailing -- always writing -- doesn't she find a haven to help her weather life's storms?

1 comment:

Caroline said...

A nice analogy! keep on sailing...