I love when a fellow sailor pauses on the dock to tell me what a beautiful boat we have. Kagán, however, is not only beautiful, she is also a great sailing, and liveaboard, vessel. But that doesn’t happen without a lot of work behind the scenes. The last few weeks have been filled with those tasks.
We’re at the end of a long haul-out in which we’ve done some work ourselves (like polishing and waxing the hull and oiling the interior woodwork) and hired experts for even more (like stripping and refinishing the brightwork, and complex work on the engine and marine drive system). Kagán is 22 years old now, and it was time for some deep diving into her engine for more than routine maintenance. This investment will pay off, I hope, with many sailing seasons aboard a safe and well-functioning vessel. And, of course, a beautiful one. But it has, at times, felt like barely managed chaos.
As I contemplated riding those waves of chaos with some semblance of calm, it occurred to me that this is not unlike writing for me. There is so much that goes on behind the, literal, scenes of a novel. All of which has to happen (and happen and happen, in the case of writing multiple drafts) for the final story to sail along.
Doing the work behind the scenes, sometimes for weeks and sometimes years, is what makes a boat, or a book, work. It’s what makes them beautiful.
What do you do behind the scenes?