Filling My Sails

I watched on Saturday, along with thousands of others, as Jessica Watson steered her vessel into Sydney Harbour. I was overcome with emotion at this young girl’s feat. Even now, when I look at photos and videos of her battering her way through gigantic seas, I am blown away by her bravery and her sheer determination to achieve what she set out to do. How do you do that? Spend seven months alone on a vessel, bobbing about in the ocean miles from nowhere? The ripple effect of what she has done will reach far and wide.

Her trip has me thinking about what I consider hard in my life and in all honesty – nothing compares to what she has just been through. Whilst we all have different dreams and aspirations, seeing Jessica accomplish this feat makes me realise that beneath the fluffy white clouds of every ‘dream come true’ is a foundation of sheer grit and determination, as well as years of passionate commitment . Blood, sweat and quite often tears.

I have a dream – to finish my book and publish it. Compared to a solo trip sailing around the world, it’s a walk in the park, and doesn’t compare. Regardless, Jessica’s journey has taught me this:


In order to get anywhere – you need a map and a destination. Otherwise you spend your whole life bobbing aimlessly around in a sea of words getting nowhere.


Having a map doesn’t always mean you will stay on course. Plotting a book is similar to sailing. When the big winds blow you off course, you need plot points to get you back in the race.

To get from Point A to Point B you need discipline to stick to the course. You also need daily maintenance. You must write everyday to keep the story focused and moving forward toward the final destination.

If you put your mind to it, you can do anything. Jessica showed me this in the most amazing way I have ever seen.

To fulfil a dream, not only do you need courage, you also need to take risks, have faith and trust in the process. You also need to believe in yourself and your dream, despite what others may say or think.

You have to study your craft, inside and out and then launch yourself out of your comfort zone in order to keep on learning.

Passion helps keeps you afloat. Without it, you drown and your dream eventually sinks.

The power to imagine is often our greatest lifeline.

Watching Jessica chase and achieve her dream has inspired me beyond words. It has made me realise that the hard work will be worth it, and that I just need to keep believing that one day, I will set foot on ‘Pontoon Published’ .  For now, she has refilled my sails and given me a hefty nudge toward my dream. I take my hat off to this young girl and send her waves of gratitude for showing us such great human spirit. God bless her and all who sail with her!

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10 thoughts on “Filling My Sails

  1. Hi Lynn,
    Like you, Ive been inspired by Jessica Watson. It doesn’t matter what age you are … 16 or 66 … Aim high and live your DREAM.
    Good luck with your writing.
    Cheers, Karen :))

  2. Amen to all of that Lynn. You are right. How could we let a rejection stop us in our tracks when this brave girl didn’t let death defying winds and torn sails stop her from achieving her dream. Onward and upward as the British like to say. We will make it.

  3. What a beautiful post! I agree that Jessica is a great inspiration, especially to young women.

    It’s incredible to imagine what she has accomplished at just sixteen. I’m pretty sure my only goal at that age revolved around hot boys ;o)

    • Thanks, Kathleen,
      Ha ha – I was like you, too…far too busy making waves opposed to sailing over them!

  4. Thank you Lynn for your beautiful post.

    To me life is like a boxing match. The more times you get knocked down the harder it is to get up again.

    People like Jessica reinstate the realisation that if we want something we have to go out there and go for it no matter what the odds. As she said, ‘anything is possible.’ it’s just a matter of believing in yourself. I certainly didn’t believe in her at the beginning, but now I think she is the ‘saviour’ we needed in these horrible times. I couldn’t do what she did but I can do what I do and stop making excuses and finish my book and then get started on the next.

    Also have to say ‘all praise’ to her parents. Something I read in Beliefnet the other day. ‘There are two things you can do for your children. Give them roots and give them wings.’

    • Lexie – thanks for such a lovely response. Your words are so true – and what a beautiful quote. I think one of the things that made the Jessica story so special was the support she had from her parents and the trust and belief that glued that family together. Just beautiful.

      • Dee- I’m crossing everything here…mostly my T’s as I keep on plugging away at the book that I hope will one day be the dream come true.

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