Set Sail

The wind is catching up. After days of no wind at all, suddenly a strong breeze is coming in from behind. It’s time to go. Time to set the mainsail, the jib and the spinnaker. Set all sails you may have onboard, because it’s time to fly. But only those who are ready will get going, and only those who set sail will catch the wind.

Creativity is like sailing the winds. There will almost always be winds – metaphorically speaking a well of creative possibilities. But we must set sail to catch them. Sometimes creativity hits us like a storm and we don’t need to do much to get going. At other times it’s only a small breeze and we need to set all sails to catch whatever wind there is. When we feel creativity has left us, it’s really time to work the sails and catch any small amount of wind that comes in our direction. If on the other hand we sit down and give up, we might be in for a long wait. Nothing happens if we don’t set sail. Or even worse if your boat is not even on the waters.

Setting sail to catch the creative winds means different for different people. For some all it takes is to sit down and start doodling. For others it takes a lot more work. They might have to push though walls of inhibition and creative stillness before being able to catch some wind at all. As I have stated many times before it comes down to doing the work. Keep being creative even when we feel none is coming our way. Just set sail and wait for some wind to catch them, because the wind will always come.

Have you set your sails?


About Otto von Münchow

Photographer based in Norway
This entry was posted in Creativity, Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

127 Responses to Set Sail

  1. petra says:

    thanks for the metaphorical kick in the butt 🙂

  2. Si; my sails catch the slightest nuance of the wind; my biggest problems are the variable winds that affect me from every direction. i am lucky that inspiration is everywhere, though sometimes it’s difficult to decide which direction to go.

    i love the boats and what looks like hard-packed sand; the sky is almost surreal – the lines of the boats and the lines in the clouds all but radiate out from a central point! beautiful image!


    • munchow says:

      As long as you have wind it doesn’t always matter where they bring you, does it? It’s part of the fun, sailing into the unknown. Thanks for the lovely comment.

  3. Oh, wow – just gorgeous. I assume this is HDR? Everytime I see an image like this it makes me want to try it.

  4. rrosen1 says:

    You are right on. I don’t like sports metaphors but you have to be in the game to play. I am in sales and it seems that the harder I work, be in the game, the luckier I get.

  5. I like sailing…as I like keeping creativity alive, at least trying to. Sometimes working on my photos, sometimes making exercises like the Cameron suggestion you mentioned in one post time ago to write three pages each morning before everything else (and it works!) or just making small changes in my daily life, for example changing the street I walk when I go to the backer’s shop.

    • munchow says:

      Yes, I have noticed you are always very active, and I believe it shows in your creative work. It’s fun that you have been able to find use with my suggestion of Julia Cameron. I think her book is very helpful for anyone being creative.

  6. Cafe says:

    Thank you for this motivation to continue being creatively inspired 🙂

  7. haha…sometimes when sailing and you hit a calm one wishes there was a fan on board. You remind me even a humorous thought can put wind in our sails. Beautiful photo at eye level.

    • munchow says:

      Thank you for the comment and humour. Yes, fans are good for many things. Among others the ability of self delusion. I won’t tell what those “fans” really are for.

  8. lovely perspective on the boats

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    Yep … a sometimes we have to be willing to take the wind that we think is in the wrong direction.

  10. Patti Kuche says:

    Catch the wind indeed and catch it where you can – love the fans on board! There is such a wonderful ,restful energy in this stunning shot.

  11. mcolmo says:

    Oh yes, I have set sail and the winds look favorable! 🙂 Great post Munchow.

  12. Your last line is eminently quotable. May I?

  13. I love the fans 🙂 It makes a heroic picture more human and playful, but I also love the big sky and the perspective and colors. I also appreciate the creative prompts. We can’t have enough reminders to just do it!

    • munchow says:

      I am not sure if I should tell what those fans really are… Thank you for a lovely comment. And I agree, we can’t have enough reminders, be it from others or ourselves.

  14. winsomebella says:

    Great metaphor and encouraging post altogether–thanks Munchow,

  15. Thanks for this post – I have shared it on my Facebook page ! (Inspiration Import)

  16. Zephyr says:

    ‘The wind will always come.’ What a positive statement Otto. Sometimes it takes a lot to set sail without a wind gently nudging you on, but this statement gives one the heart to do it 🙂

  17. Angeline M says:

    The sky alone in your photo makes me zoom out to sea to discover what’s on the horizon. My sails are set. An encouraging post to keep your readers on their toes!

  18. Such movement in this image although the boats are stationary…lovely metaphor, Otto…

  19. Sunshine says:

    Yes, definitely “setting sail to catch the creative winds means different for different people” because just thinking about setting sail in a boat on the water makes me feel quite nauseous after experiencing a terrible sea sick episode long ago.
    Perhaps wind gliding may be the better sail for some…I love this creative inspiration you shared… 🙂

  20. Gracie says:

    Excellent photo!

  21. Cool photograph and statement.

  22. andy says:

    Getting started on a creative endeavour can be easy (or sometimes hard), getting some momentum and staying with it to the end is hard (or sometimes harder). Thanks for the post, food for thought as always:)

  23. Hmmm your posts always make me stop and think. Great image. I love the perspective.

  24. george says:

    Thank you for your recent comment Otto. Looking at all those wonderful, exotic locations just make me wish I’d gotten out of stock (photo) management and returned to photography sooner. Ah well, there’s no turning back the clock!

    • munchow says:

      Thanks for you inspiring comment, George. As to turning back the clock, I think it’s always possible – not literally to turn the clock back, but to make changes in whatever directions one wish to go.

  25. Nothing I like more than to set sail, even if I run aground now and then. Love this post from the superbly evocative photo onwards.

  26. anorwen says:

    Lovely photo! Would it be ok to share it on my Pinterest board?

  27. PC PHOTO says:

    Alas the wind is billowing the sail! Some times we sit and wait for inspiration but you’re words are so true, we do have to keep our hand on the creativity. Once again, I thank you Otto for your encouragement and insight. The photo you used here is filled with creativity.

  28. DaniLew says:

    Interesting metaphor and you’re absolutely right. I have sat still on a dry dock instead of putting my boat in the water.

  29. Beautiful photo and so poetic a message on creativity, so true and so exquisitely stated, as always Otto, thank you.

  30. Michelle Gillies says:

    This image and post are truly inspiring Otto. Quite frankly I could get lost in the photo and have my imagination play all day. The trick is transferring that to writing it down.

  31. starlaschat says:

    I Love this post it was such a great ananlogy and photo! The first thing I noticed when I looked at the photo was in the front of the boat looks like a hand hold where you can pull the boat up to shore. I’m not sure that that’s what that hole up front is for, but that’s what I thought. I agree “The wind will always come.” Just keep showing up and don’t give up even when It’s difficult that what I tell myself just keep pushing forward and creativity will and does show up. I think we get rewarded for our efforts when we keep pushing on and believe that creativty will be there even in dry spells.

  32. Louis says:

    I like this analogy – a lot!! So simple, but so important.

  33. niasunset says:

    Great post. Thank you dear Otto, you took me into the dreams…. Love, nia

  34. likeitiz says:

    This is such a great photo! I can feel the breeze already, Otto. The creative breeze coming this way!

  35. LensScaper says:

    If we don’t set sail, then the creativity dies – it needs to be refreshed and shaped by winds that blow us somewhere new. What you write, Otto, is so very true.

  36. Great shot Otto. I really enjoy the way you wrote of the wind. Interesting post.

  37. This is so true for any kind of creative work. If you’re writing, pick up a pen and paper. Painting.. pick up a brush. Photography… pick up your camera. Wonderful inspiration as always! Thank you!

  38. hello, sir… let me say first, what a panoramic view, what a great angle! the sky’s on the move… 😉

  39. dearrosie says:

    Oh Otto you are such a great encourager.
    Keep being creative even when we feel none is coming our way. Just set sail and wait for some wind to catch them, because the wind will always come.

    … sheesh.

  40. Every day is an opportunity to to take these words and move on them! I like the idea of just setting sail and letting creativity take over! Thank you for always being focused on creative suggestions.

  41. I mean to comment that the photo is incredible! It’s really beautiful. Debra

  42. Angelia Sims says:

    The image is stunning. I can’t stop looking at it. 🙂

  43. Bindu says:

    Awesome picture to symbolize the metaphor you have used. Right now I am in the wait to catch the creative winds.

  44. 1cruzdelsur says:

    Beautiful picture, metaphor that blows the reader.

  45. sonali says:

    Your posts are very helpful, Munchow. There’s always something special and different to learn, re-gain the lost energy. Set the sails, the wind always comes! How faithful & encouraging. I hop over to your blog, and I’m quite sure I have what I need to hear. Thanks much!!! 🙂 Did you capture that picture? Its awesome!

  46. Lisa Gordon says:

    I have most definitely (set my sails), although I will admit, that sometimes it’s a lot more work than at other times. This is a wonderful post, Otto, and this image is just beautiful. Such a lovely composition. Wishing you a wonderful evening.

  47. Elaine- says:

    the wind has died in my life haha, but i sit here in my leaky boat anyway… i figure if i’ve hit rock bottom, whatever i put out there is ‘good enuff’

  48. Marvin says:

    Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps… lovely picture!

  49. I like your comparison with the wind.

  50. Carrie says:

    Your words come at a time when I do need to get my sails out. Have just been thinking I wasn’t sure if I could keep one of my blogs up as it requires not only photos but some sort of words of creativity to go along with the photos. After each blog I think how can I possible come up with something new as I hate repeated anything. But just while taking a walk the other day and my mind was free to run creative thoughts through it with the image of some photos I had taken already and suddenly I could see the words start to come to me. It’s often when I relax and let go of the pressure to get a blog out that one comes to me. Thank you again for your wonderful photo that of course went so well with your words. Have a wonderful week.

    • munchow says:

      Often the thought of having to come up with something “new” makes us stall. The best thing is to let go of the pressure, as you say and the ideas come to you instead of forcing it. Keep staying creative!

  51. joshi daniel says:

    beautiful and the sky gives a moving feel 🙂

  52. A terrific post and the image is so relevant and impressive.

  53. I looove this metaphor and how eloquently you wrote it. Beautiful and fitting. I notice, now that I’ve made a great deal of room in my life for creativity, that it still is like the wind. You can have all the time in the world, but still the creativity is going to rise and fall like the wind. When all I’m feeling is a soft breeze, I play lots of music, I get outdoors, and I make a list to tackle. This helps until the wind starts to pick up again! Thanks so much for this post, I needed it today. 🙂

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  55. eof737 says:

    True.. and I find that as long as I make the effort, something will come of it… sooner or later. 😉

  56. Just inspiring my friend. I wish I can do what you do. Travel, set sail and pursue the pureness of your passion. I told my wife so many times, “You know I am just a simple guy. I can live in a small hut , close to the beach with just the basic of essentials and I can find happiness there.” Life is best when keep it simple and when we brave our fears to set sail and pursue what makes us happy.

  57. Luiza says:

    Cool pic! Pure inspiration and a cleared mind…

  58. semprevento says:

    beautiful metaphor …
    I understand all your sense.
    nice … a dream come true …
    The wind is true, is always there.
    CIE I miss is much more.
    Beautiful, soothing post.

  59. KarenAnn says:

    Lovely photo and inspirational metaphor. As one so far inland, everything related to the sea is so fresh and fun to examine.

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