Fresh and Not Frightening: the Joy of Writing Teamwork

When I first started freelance writing three decades ago, I thought magazine articles would be my primary focus and I’d get to work with editors on a regular basis. Since then, both magazines and my business have evolved… and for various reasons*, writing one-off pieces is more of an occasional treat than a regular gig. But I always enjoy the chance to work with an editor to develop and refine an idea, so a few months ago I was really excited to receive an email from SAIL Magazine’s Wendy Clarke; would you be interested in writing for us?

Of course my answer was YES!, and Wendy liked my initial idea: a story about the importance of teamwork for all sailors—from family cruisers to professional racers—that might help readers improve the teamwork on their own boats. I reached out to Karen Fallon (who lives on a boat year round, with her husband and two kids); Shirley Robertson and Dee Caffari (two pro sailors who teamed up last summer to spend 13 days racing around Britain and Ireland); and Jack and Zdenka Griswold (retirees who completed a five year circumnavigation). Though their experiences were all quite different, I did dig out some commonalities—and then Wendy helped polish it into a piece that will hopefully educate as well as inspire.

This was my first article for SAIL, and I really enjoyed the challenge of pulling together a story for an audience that includes cruising sailors. Wendy graciously provided a PDF to share with all of you, but I encourage you to subscribe so you can see all the other great content in each month’s edition. Even on screen, the spreads recreate the excitement of a “traditional” sailing magazine; a feast for both eyes and mind. 

Got another story idea you think I should pursue at the cruising end of the sailing spectrum? Share it in the comments below, or send me an email. After all, life works best when it’s a team effort. 🙂

Read Go Team!

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*In Time Capsule: A Letter from 1995, I explained that my first professional goal was writing for magazines… but “what I quickly realized was that it was very hard to justify the time and effort put into one-off pieces. The key to making a living as a writer was syndication, which really only worked in a bigger industry—and wasn’t my cup of tea at all.”

2 Replies to “Fresh and Not Frightening: the Joy of Writing Teamwork”

  1. Great article. Teamwork is what makes the sailing world (sorry wrong publication, no pun intended) go ’round. This completes the teamwork circle on what you typically write about on racing boats. I have found stellar teamwork to be the thread in my most memorable experiences in 60 years on the water. Whether it was with my Dad on his Bullseye, 35 years in the Snipe, the 80s IOR circuit on Lake Erie, the old Airgasm Melges 24 program (recently surfaced on FB) or recent short handed cruising on Feisty Girl the people and the interaction thereof make those experiences so durable.

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