On Writing a Blog: An Attempt to Under Promise and Over Deliver

by Leslie Godfrey in

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Before we ever came up with this crazy scheme to circumnavigate the globe, Andrew promised me:

“I’ll take you on grand adventures, if you promise to memorialize them somehow.”

Seemed like a fair trade to me, since I like memorializing adventures anyway.

But how to do it? These days YouTube Video Logs are all the rage - “Vlogs” and a picture is always worth a thousand words, so they say. But, I am not a cinematographer.

I am a writer.

I am a lawyer, but really, I am a writer in disguise.

At age 6 I penned a two hundred page (handwritten) novel about dolls. It was a story of romance and adventure, not to be missed. My mom packaged it up and sent it off to the publishers at my request, and they, graciously sent me a note that said: “Keep trying.” At age 8, I asked Santa Claus for an electric typewriter and he actually delivered! Countless stories of figure ice dancers in the throes of injury and loveless partnerships tapped its way from keys to ink tape to paper. Age 13, you might find me dressed in black and tucked into my clothes closet past the hour of my prescribed bedtime bleeding my teen aged angst into rhymes which - despite what I might tell you back then - could not be honored by the title “poetry”. (Hey! The closet had a light inside, and if I closed my bedroom door and the closet door, my mother was never the wiser.) Imagine my joy circa 1998, when I finally had access to my very first word processor.

Indeed, I hadn’t truly fell in love with the law and litigation until during one of my first jobs, the supervisor asked me to pen a legal brief in opposition to a man who claimed he’d been attacked by raccoons. Oh, the drama! Only then, did I realize that a litigator’s life is about telling a compelling (true!) story. I’ve enjoyed that job; I’m pretty sure this one will be even better.

If I’m honest with the question: “Why do you want to sail around the world?” the answer is probably “because it gives me all sorts of fun things to write about!”

And, so. I will write.

I also love photography. While never having taken photos in a professional format, I’ve taken classes on the subject, and what better way to improve your craft then to spend most days with a camera strapped around my neck?

I will take photographs.

And, maybe this blog will create a record sufficient to drag these these memories out of the dredges of my own senility, circa 2061.  

But I will admit I have higher hopes and expectations than only that. I hope it will be a log that tracks the process and results of my own grand experiment. As I write this today, I do not know if I will deeply regret or happily embrace the course of action we are taking upon its completion. Will this experience change my life for better, for worse, or am I overestimating a long vacation that, in the end, will be a past time that just filled another day?

I hope it will serve as a link back to my family and friends, a place to connect our respective thoughts about these stories and experiences as much as we would if we were home and chatting over a glass of wine at dinner. Or…at very least a means for them to confirm as of the date of our last post, we have not sunk, fallen overboard, or been taken for ransom by pirates.

And finally, I confess to the hope that someone I haven’t met yet will be interested, inspired, or annoyed enough by the content of this blog that they will follow it. If you are one of those people, reach out. Send us an email and let us know you are there.

Because….to be honest: I'm nervous.  The only thing that makes me more uncomfortable than traveling in the wilderness to far off, unfamiliar places, is the idea of chronicling the whole thing for public display.  What if I fail and do not enjoy sailing?  What if I say something completely ridiculous? What if I become unemployable as a result?  What if people are mean in response? What if I offend my mother, my friends, my co-workers, or some random person in Ohio?  What if I am boring?  Oh. My.  God.  What if I'm boring?

The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. 
— The War of Art, By Steven Pressfield

I am a people pleaser, it's a blessing and a curse.  I often remain silent out of fear of rubbing others the wrong way.  The idea of publishing non-fiction about myself, live time, without the benefit of editing is in direct contradiction with this personal quality. The raw exposure of my thoughts, without polish,  terrifies me.  I will say something ridiculous, because I will never know everything, and inevitably, I will be smacked around on this journey.  There will be times that I hate sailing, and I might fail.  I might quit.  I might die trying and the hubris of my words may haunt the memory of me. I will certainly offend someone, maybe in Ohio, because you can't please everyone.

But, when I read other people's blogs, I am always struck by how they share their experiences.  Their words and photography are often so beautiful, so shameless, and so open.  I doubt myself, but I am drawn by the artistry of it.  I have always loved to write and I also enjoy taking photographs. It seems silly to enjoy the experience of sailing and traveling without writing about it, and I know I want to remain in touch with family and friends as we go.  When I am honest with myself, I know that I really should/must set aside my embarrassment in order to capture whatever power is inside this opportunity. Long ago, I promised myself I will not make decisions based on fear or discomfort.

Rule of Thumb:  The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
— The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield

So, I am going to push through the discomfort and write this blog.  It will be an autobiography written in real time, as we go.  And I'm sure I will learn much from the process.  Enjoy.