Here’s something different – I usually write about sailing destinations, Britican galley recipes, how-to articles and the trials and tribulations of being a full-time boatie but today I’d like to share something different with you.
Last week a friend asked me to participate in a blog tour
A blog what?! I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into but it works like this:
- Someone nominates you to answer a set of questions about your blog/website
- You answer the questions
- At the end, you nominate two more people to answer questions and the tour continues
Great idea – isn’t it?
Previous to answering the questions I didn’t really reflect on why I write what I do. Furthermore, I didn’t realize how precious my writing is to me.
That being said, the person that nominated me for the blog tour is a very special person. When I was four years old my family moved from the city into a suburb. On the first day of kindergarten I befriended a girl named Jessica who became one of my best friends. Jess is pictured above 🙂
We rode our bicycles together, had sleepovers, both played the clarinet (and entered competitions together) and progressed through childhood together. During our high school years we went separate ways but thanks to the power of Facebook we’ve been able to once again reconnect. Please read Jess Kapp’s excellent blog about ‘Inspiring Women To Journey Beyond Their Comfort Zone.’
My writer’s blog tour interview (Kim Brown)
What am I currently working on?
Last year I said screw it to my life and decided to trade it in for a new one. After quitting our jobs, my husband and I sold all our possessions including our house and car. Hubby and I then purchased a 56’ sailboat so to take ourselves and our, at the time, 3 year old daughter on an adventure of a lifetime. The plan was and still is to circumnavigate the world.
We were fed up with working long hours to pay for a large house so we could collapse in exhaustion in front of the TV eating fast food every evening. Hubby and I craved freedom, healthy food, a deeper connection to nature and time to create memories with our lovely daughter.
That being noted, my writing reflects various angles related to our lifestyle change, our massive learning curve and the incredible people we’re meeting along the journey. I write about our lives highlighting the good and the bad – the challenges, difficulties, epiphanies and successes. And I also write about practical things like how to change a faulty accumulator tank (a pressurized water system component), easy recipes for a sailboat galley or whether a particular marina has nice showers or not.
How does my work differ from others in my genre?
There are very few others in my genre so in some respects it’s difficult to compare and contrast. The sailing world has traditionally been a very male dominated area so there are few women with a voice in the industry.
There are several yachting sportswomen like Ellen McArthur, that have a huge voice, but the genre I operate in comes under the heading of lifestyle rather than sport.
On the web there are many ‘sailing blogs,’ written by women but most of them are a personal journal rather than a lifestyle publication. My aim is to create educational and entertaining information that covers the whole spectrum of being a full-time cruiser. The information includes what it’s like to live aboard a boat through to recipes for the galley, travel reviews and ‘how to’ articles on servicing and maintaining a floating home.
What’s great about this genre is that I’m super passionate about it. I’m writing freely about how I feel and what I think. For the first time in my life, there’s no ulterior motive or financial objective to my writing. Previously, my copy was aimed towards promoting one of my companies or commissioned by a publication. Now…I’ve combined my passion for sailing with my love for writing and I’m hoping that the blend will allow a creative outlet that far surpasses anything I’ve done in the past.
Why do I write what I do?
As a child and throughout my school years I enjoyed writing. In fact, I wanted to be a writer from a young age but was told to try something else. My teachers continuously reminded me that I couldn’t spell and I had no hope with grammar.
I also wanted to be an artist but my family told me that artists never make any money. After forcing myself through University I ended up with a degree in Business.
Year after year I climbed the ranks of business success and eventually started my own companies. A major benefit to starting a company was the fact that I could write whatever I wanted. I wrote the website, all the sales literature and then I branched out into writing educational information in the effort of becoming a ‘thought leader’ in my niche. One thing let to another and before I knew it, I was being published all over the world.
Looking back, I seriously took a very detoured route to enjoy my passion for writing. I thoroughly enjoyed growing my various companies but in the end I became burnt out. My passion was in writing yet when you own a company, your attention needs to be focused on HR, Legal’s, Finance, Operations and so forth.
Now, at the age of 40, I’ve finally given myself the love and respect I failed to give myself in the past. I’ve finally decided to listen to what I want and what I love rather than allow others to influence my decisions.
So, ‘why do I write what I do?’
Because I love to write and I love the new lifestyle. By combining the two I’m so much more fulfilled that I ever have been.
How does my writing process work?
My writing process is magical. I often sit down to type an article on a particular theme and something totally different comes out. I actually visualize a team of angels that sit above me and pass ideas, sentences and even a bit of humor into my writing. If you’re near me while I’m typing away, you might overhear me say, ‘yes – that’s a good one!’ or ‘thank you – I needed that!’
Ideas for articles easily present themselves throughout the day. Something will happen or I’ll be in a new place and I’ll think, ‘wow – others could benefit from this knowledge,’ or ‘holy smokes – this place is amazing…I must let others know about it.’
I have a very strong need to give and serve people.
Sometimes I create ‘how to’ articles yet other times I discuss the journey I’m on and hopefully impart the transformation I’m living through. Regardless of what I write my objective is to always leave the reader in a better place than when they started – perhaps I help the reader to do a task, feel better about themselves or question their life in a way that propels them in a more positive direction?
Furthermore, I know that there are many people out there that are similar to me. Their passions were squashed early in life and they’re less than fulfilled with their profession, lifestyle or both. Hopefully, my decision to say screw it to my old life and change it for a new one will empower others to do the same.
Continuing the tour…
I nominate Behan Gifford and Jana Korpova – two very incredible women.
Behan chronicles the cruising experiences of their family of five. She is my hero! The family sailed away from their homeport of Bainbridge Island in 2008 (children aged 4,6 and 9 at the time) and have been going strong ever since. Similar to my husband and I, the Gifford’s became fed up with a ‘normal’ rat-race lifestyle and decided to trade it in for something much more fulfilling.
As Behan notes on her website, “We wanted to build memories with our children that involved more than flyby dinners and fleeting weekends. Already, fulfillment and joy as a family came from our days on the water together, ghosting around Puget Sound. We wanted to live minimally, and shed things that we didn’t really need. We wanted to live close to nature, sourcing power through the sun and wind, and raise our children in tune with the environment.”
Check out Behan’s chronicles on her SailingTotem website.
Jana is an interesting woman, to say the least. We both worked at the same company and enjoyed a variety of experiences together. Jana left her home country of Slovakia to find work in England. Being a foreigner she started at the very bottom doing extremely low paid work, long hours and worked in poor conditions.
Jana worked and worked and over the years she’s become more and more successful. Currently she has a very high position in a finance company and I’m sure that’s just a stepping stone to even greater success. More recently, Jana has developed an interest in lifting weights. Yes – lifting weights! Whatever Jana does, she does with great vigour. Her story is amazing, inspirational and enlightening. Check out Jana’s blog at I’m a girl and I life heavy.