A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor

A short fiction story of life spent at sea

Danny took a seat again. He was getting old no doubt about it.

No longer one of the boys, he was the old boy aboard the ship. A life spent at sea meant some days he felt old as well.

Being the old boy has its benefits though, a chance to pass on experience and wisdom. It’s also a chance to take a life a bit easier and let the young boys take up the slack.

Life has been good, sure I have made mistakes and have some regrets. But I would do it all over again. Thought Danny as he sat on watch on the bridge that sunny afternoon.

An eight-hour workday and four hours on a watch is a typical shift length for a deckhand like Danny. Then it’s off to bed for eight hours.

The older you get the smarter you work and so it was for Danny. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor as the saying goes. Experience and knowledge are like compound interest. It builds up over time.

Knowing all the tricks and tips to make life easier is one of the joys of age.

Danny, after all, was only 18 with 42 years of experience.

Life is what we make it, smooth seas never make a skilled sailor. It’s the challenges and bumps in the road, that we learn from.

Without that life would be boring. We would have few opportunities to learn and life would not be so enjoyable.

Life is meant to be a blast, learn, live fast, and have fun while it lasts.

How to generate effective writing ideas

Tip’s and tools I use to make sure I always have writing ideas ready

Sounds simple right?

Just sit down and start writing. As any writer will tell you, if only it were that simple.

Sometimes the word’s flow and other times its a struggle. Having a stash of writing ideas ready to use is no bad thing. Especially when you are struggling to write.

The first thing I do is loosen up by writing creatively which I’ve described in this story:Taking the first steps in PoetryPoetry is another great way to flex your writing muscles. Its also one with few rule’s!medium.com

The process of writing creatively with no pressure opens up and loosens the

mind. If you can get rid of the risk of writer’s block before you start then that’s a good first step.

For me, that exercise gets me into the mindset to get my ideas on paper. Something else may work for you.

Once that’s done then I follow these steps:

  • I use a Saturday as my ideas day, which gives me a specific time and day where I focus only on idea creation. It means I have a purpose-built time to focus only on that work. It also gives me a week to think about my writing. That breathing space lets my subconscious get creative.
  • I get my list of ideas out. For this is an A4 legal pad because I like to still write with a pen and paper some of the time. An excel spreadsheet or word document may be an upgrade on this.
  • Normally I’m able to come up with at least 5 of those ideas myself. Once I get through the ideas in my head, I move to social media and look at what’s trending. If I feel I can write about a topic then it goes into the list.
  • I like to try and list out around 10 ideas at a time. If I have more then that’s great, but 10 is the minimum. These can be anything and everything. I never limit myself to the topics I could write about.
  • The next step is to run my idea’s through google. Anything that people are searching for is worth writing about. If it’s only you that’s searching the topic, then chances are it’s not going to be so interesting.

Those are the steps that work well for me. I have been using this system for the last 6 months. It’s given me the tools I need to write consistently and without the pressure to generate ideas out of thin air.

Like anything else writing is a process. Starting with step 1, if there is a consistent process and approach to idea generation. Your chances of success will increase.