Have you ever gone on a Surfing Safari or any spur of the moment trip for that matter? I have and if you’re like me you probably didn’t do a great deal of planning for it other than to have a general idea of where you wanted to go. As a result, the trip most likely unfolded on it’s own for the most part.
In my personal story, “Chicken of The Sea” I recount such a trip I took with my buddies Eddie and Ricky and one other guy who we had to sneak out of his house because his parents didn’t give him permission to go.
We ended up in The Hamptons of Long Island where we spent the entire week sleeping in my old car and letting the days take care of themselves. On our first day, with a tropical storm off the coast, we were presented with a massive swell that was so big that we dared not paddle out at Ponquague Beach and instead had to find a channel to surf where the waves were more manageable.
We surfed near the Shinnecock Inlet the entire week in great waves, ran out of money, were taken in by a very kind restaurant owner who gave us free food, Ricky and Eddie were asked to join a local surf team (I wished I had but honestly was not as good as them), the other kids mom found us, read us the riot act and took her son home, and when I got home my parents grounded me for the rest of the summer.
Would I have changed any of it? The answer would be an emphatic no (except for the grounding part). If we had planned it all out we probably would not have enjoyed all of the experiences we had and I wouldn’t have memories of one of the greatest adventures of my life.
For me my writing is much like that Surfing Safari. When I start I have an idea of the point I want to make and generally where I am going but other than that I simply jump in and let my crazy little mind take me wherever it wants.
When writing “Chicken of The Sea” I at least had my memories to guide me but while writing my novel “The Nonconformist” I simply went along for the ride and let both my imagination along with some life events take me where they may. I am still amazed at where my mind took me and how I managed to pull together all of those ideas, events and characters and how I finally came to a conclusion and made the points I wanted to make.
I am pretty much doing the same thing with my current novel and hope the formula works for me again (only the reader though can be the real judge of that I realize).
I’m not sure that if I had carefully planned everything that I would have been able to pull it off. I probably would have obsessed over every line and have bogged down in the details and maybe even given up entirely. One thing is for certain, I certainly wouldn’t have had as much fun during the adventure.
So if you are planning going on a Surfing Safari of your own or writing, let the adventure take you where it may and enjoy the trip.
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Aloha and see you again next week, Paul