Friday, January 22, 2016

Freelance lifestyle moment where it all came together

At times, living the freelance lifestyle can be a challenge. You have to chase work and chase the money. This is not one of those times. When I did my own thing, I decided I would always have a passion project on the back burner for the down time. I like to race small sailboats, so I started writing regatta reports about every regatta I sailed in, regardless of how I did. The beginnings were humble. I started out with Facebook posts about my local Laser fleet, which happens to be made up of a group of great sailors. Fleet 413 is in Newport and while the people are not, as a rule, extremely wealthy, they are extremely influential. So the stories started getting around. Nobody wants to read a story about how one competitor was just so strong he decimated the field. People want to be entertained so I always kept an eye out for the bits and pieces which might otherwise be ignored. The blog posts led to the class magazine, the class magazine led to the newspaper Newport This Week, and that led to writing for Sailing World, the authority on sailing. I even got to go for a sail and drive one of the most amazing sailboats of all time, Comanche. Then I received an invitation to sail in and write about a regatta that has always intrigued me, the Caribbean Laser Championship at Cabarete in the Dominican Republic. The invitation arrived on short notice. But we had some air miles kicking around and we just did it. To sail in the Caribbean is pretty amazing. I met some great people and wrote a story that shares my love of Laser sailing with others. That's one of the good reasons to do your own thing. As I write to you, there is a piece of paper taped to my wall. One of my many resolutions is to enjoy the downtime. Sure, I could have stayed home and hoped that some other work would have arrived and I'm sure going on the trip cost me something in lost income. But sailing down the face of a ten foot wave in a 14 foot dinghy? That's a feeling that sticks with you until the end of time. After the story runs in the publication, I will post it here. Thanks for reading.

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