5 Easy Steps to Make Your Crazy Great Idea a Reality

Sorry to all those readers who clicked to get hot “How To”, it’s not going to be that kinda of blog post. The heading just scored better with the SEO bot, and isn’t clicks the only thing that matters these days?

Ok, seriously now.

I have always subscribed to a few things when hatching a new, crazy great idea like going backpacking in Thailand alone, saying yes to a motorcycle trip through the middle of Australia with a guy I’d only been dating for three months, or quitting a well paying yachting job to sail across the largest span of open ocean on the planet in a tiny little sailboat. After the decision has been made privately (and may I suggest the deal be sealed over a bottle or two of beer), and maybe some of the details sketched out, tell a bunch of other people about the plan.

I never did this to ask permission, to gain acceptance, or to find financial support. (And anyone who knows me personally has probably just let out an audible guffaw reading that sentence.) It was simply to ensure that I couldn’t back out, because all those crazy great ideas scared the shit out of me in the beginning. I guess now that would be filed under ‘accountability’ but for me it was just a matter of keeping my sanity intact. If I could convince other people that I could do what I set out to do, then eventually I would believe I could too.

The thing is, that all crazy great ideas usually are HUGE and SCARY in the beginning.

If the idea doesn’t scare you at least a little bit, then you know, deep down in your guts somewhere, even if you don’t want to admit it in the beginning, that it probably isn’t one of the ‘great’ ideas and is actually just a regular ‘crazy’ idea. The kind you follow for a while, and then hopefully abandon before it causes actual physical injury.

It’s that blend of crazy and great, the push and pull, the Jekyll and Hyde quality that that makes it so exciting. One moment it feels so grandiose that you freeze up even thinking about how to start. The next moment you are fully committed, never gonna back down, fist in the air screaming ‘I can conquer the world!” Or, maybe, just staring the idea down in the middle of the night, whispering to your pillow “I can do this.”

It’s been a while since I’ve had any crazy great ideas. I guess living on-board one for the past 16 years has been enough. Or maybe its just been one long, continuous string of crazy great ideas. After all, the original plan was only to take 18 months off work and sail from California to Australia. We are now well into our second decade and we’ve yet to even head toward Australia.

However, over the past few years I have had an idea that I keep circling back to. One that feels as daunting as it is doable, as impractical as it does possible. And I realized that it is probably another crazy great idea, one that I’ve sat with and considered, hashed out the details to and gotten a good start on. One that I’ve sealed the deal with myself over the aforementioned cold beers. So, following my logic, it needs to be released into the world to reach it’s full potential.

I am writing a book.

There, I’ve said it out loud, in public, to strangers. And like the announcements of the crazy great ideas of my past, I kinda feel like celebrating and barfing at the same time.

I know this project is going to take a lot of small steps, and it will probably involve a series of set backs and difficult days, and there is a good chance that it will cost more than expected, both in time and emotional labour. And if it never get formally published, or if no one but family and close friends ever read it, that will be ok. The crazy great idea is to write the book, not become an international best seller. (But, hey, if that happens in some alternate universe then I’ll take it.)

Over a decade worth of notes

Since I have been plugging away at it for a little while I’ve got a good start. I’ve been re-reading blogs posts, and journal entries, and the 200 or so articles that I’ve published over the past decade and have about 60000 words. 30000 of those are good words. Considered and edited and rewritten words. Words that I am proud of, that I think are a solid foundation for a book. A book about us, our travels, what it’s meant to me to live so close to the natural world, and all the things we’ve learned along the way.

And, if any one has actually made it the end of this post and thinks they might want to read and support a book I’ve written, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my crazy great idea, eithe comment below, send me an email, or find me @yachtkate.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary says:

    Wonderful idea!! You must have a ton of tales that you have never put into articles or blog posts. I will wait patiently for notice of publication.
    Mary :))

    1. Heather Francis says:

      Thanks Mary!

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