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?


127 thoughts on “Set Sail

  1. 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!


    1. 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.

    1. Thank you, Joylene. The pictures isn’t process with HDR – I am usually very reluctant to what I find often to be an overused gimmick. But I have lighten the shadows which of course make a picture resemble somewhat HDR.

  2. Otto
    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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

    1. 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.

  6. ‘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 🙂

  7. 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!

  8. 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… 🙂

  9. 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:)

  10. 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!

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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’

  21. 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.

    1. 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!

  22. 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. 🙂

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

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