Writer’s Block

I have started no fewer than six blog posts since we embarked on our sea journey twenty-two days ago.  I can’t seem to figure out what you would want to read.

You might think that is preposterous.  If I were you and you were me, I would want to know everything about what it’s like to live on a ship and travel the world with young children. 

But I am stuck, because the vast majority of you – my audience – follow my writing because you are parents or care providers of young children, and Abundant Life has always been a community of ideas, strategies, and encouragement for your journey from a fellow journeyer.

Plus, my internet connection is slower than slow out here on the open ocean and I haven’t seen the familiar blue and grey homepage of Facebook in weeks (I’m sure it’s changed ten times since I left!) so I feel very disconnected from my land-life.

My writing has always grown out of my experience with young children, and I have a sense that the reason Abundant Life has connected with so many of you is that we have shared experiences: meltdowns in the grocery store, challenges with designing ideal spaces for children that foster learning, or managing our own strong emotional reactions with the children we love.

And now I’m on a ship, traveling around the world, and I wonder how much of our experiences are still shared?  I wonder if my writing will lose its relevance?

Partly, I believe that you are connected to my writing voice, and I suspect you are curious about what it’s like to live on a ship with three children, ages 6, 4, and 2.  (Spoiler alert: interesting.)  Perhaps you wonder what it’s like to take selective young eaters through Asia and Africa.  (Bonus: bread comes in many forms!)  Maybe you have a spirit for adventure that is eager to follow along vicariously, or maybe you wonder what in the world I was thinking!  (Most days, I still don’t know.)

I am eager to share my reflections about why we took this journey, what we learn, and how we change.  But I am trapped by this notion that successful writers should have some clear purpose to define what they write.

So, to be clear, and to write with integrity, I feel obliged to tell you that I have no idea what will come of my writing over the next four months.  I’m going to wing it.  I hope my writing continues to encourage you in your journey.  If nothing else, I’m confident it will be different from the other blogs you read.

Categories: Semester at Sea | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Writer’s Block

  1. Lauren Matheson

    You just write. It’s still you, just somewhere else. If someone doesn’t want to read your sea log, we all have delete buttons and aren’t going anywhere (sadly!)

  2. I want to know what you notice about the cultural differences in parenting…the ship is just one culture…what are you seeing parents do in other countries? Your blog has already focused on how we feed our children in other cultures…there is so much more to explore…for example, do other cultures allow young children to play unsupervised more than we do? What forms of discipline and nurture do you see in other countries? How do other mothers dress their children, carry them, get them from point A to B, etc? What do other cultures do for childcare? How do other cultures handle children’s emotional expression? Keep writing! :)

  3. I think writer’s block is every bit a part of blogging as it is being an author, so take heart. I’m sure you’re adjusting to your new environment and allowing the thoughts to filter through before they take shape. I find my blog posts tend to gather in a theme as I try to observe what’s going on in every day life and I’m sure these new surroundings are challenging too. Good luck!

  4. Looking forward to you winging it – I suspect small children are small children whether on sea or land! ;-)

  5. Janean

    I actually have been dying to hear what it is like on that ship! I traveled a lot before I had kids and mine are young as well, a (very strong-willed) 4 year old boy and a (very easygoing so far) 5 month old girl. One of the things I have always wanted to do when I became a mom was to travel with my family. I have learned so much in my travels and I really believe our travels shape us and our worldview. Since I have learned of your recent journey I have actually looked up information on a semester at sea and daydreamed about doing this with my family one day. I would love to hear what a typical day is like for you and your family during this adventure. What do you teach? Who cares for your children? Teaches them? What are they learning on this trip that is unique? What does your husband do on the ship? What is the most exciting thing that has happened so far? Most challenging? And perhaps you can eventually offer some tips for those of us hoping to follow in your footsteps. I credit you for taking the leap of faith to take this journey! Looking forward to hearing all about it!

  6. imaginesue

    Ah, Emily, yes please, let us in to your process of self-discovery as you and your family take this great adventure. I look forward to every word and to learning from your wisdom, whatever form it takes.

  7. Carmen

    Hi Emily, you just reminded of the scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Willie Wonka realizes that his candy stinks because he’s in a funk. It sounds like you’re still getting your sea-legs about you on this journey. I’m still here because so far every single piece of your writing has inspired or taught me something that has helped my daughter, my son and myself :) when it’s time for you to write, it will come and I’ll be here ready to read it. In the meantime enjoy your kids and certainly enjoy the world you’re getting to see!

  8. Louise

    You will find your way Emily and we will find your thoughts still worth reading. -Sending my love to you over the ocean waves.

  9. Kim

    Maybe you should start another blog about your travels?

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