Beaches #atozchallenge


Few everyday moments equal those spent at the beach in their  serenity. In Southern California, there’s a beach every two miles along the coast. My quick research produced quite the find: over one hundred beaches in our side of the state.

There is a certain connection between the beach — the ocean — and creativity. The serenity helps; but the vastness of the ocean, I think, taps into the risk-taking side of the creative.

In Einstein at the Beach, Steven Kotler makes a connection between risk taking and creativity. Spending time at the beach, better yet in the ocean, offers a risk-taking snap shot. Einstein, as the article indicates, couldn’t swim, so venturing into the water came at a risk. Still, the ocean is vastly unpredictable.

Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. ~ Einstein at the Beach


If true, when creatively blocked, taking risks is the way out. We must make public those bets first placed by imagination. Consider that statement for a second. I felt something akin to making public bets first placed by imagination — a new and different fear — when my mystery novel, Stranger or Friend, was released last year.

I still wonder if fear of putting oneself out there ever goes away, or we allow creativity and fear to coexist. 

So, what say you, dear blogging friend? If fear never goes away, do we do what we must while afraid?


39 responses to “Beaches #atozchallenge

  1. Yay for beaches, we have many here in New Zealand to and I love to wander along the one near me.
    In terms of fear and creativity I think that we have to accept the fear and do what we feel a passion for. Sometimes I guess the fear lessens as we get into it.
    Kathryn – Discovering Daisies

  2. myself being from a coastal city, i completely agree with you…It happens to me when i look at the rough night sea

  3. I have B for Beach on one of my blogs today. @suesconsideredt from Sue’s Trifles
    and Sue’s words and pictures

    Were I to comment about fear it would be a blog post rather than a comment! Sue

  4. I agree, Silvia, about the beach and creativity. The beach in winter is a wonderful place! And I am just minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean. 💕💕💕

  5. I miss the California beaches. I love the sound of crashing waves. I agree about pushing through despite fear. Very nice quote from Einstein at the Beach. Good luck with A-Z!

  6. I love this post and that quote Silvia : “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination’. ~ Einstein at the Beach. We have to risk … not doing so is a violation of ourselves…
    The Beach is a good place to let the imagination wander! Being in the water and floating – Bliss!

  7. Yes. The fears pop in and out. Success quells them for a bit. Voices of affirmation rise above them for a while. But, they’re still there, lurking. Love the Einstein at the Beach quote! So true.

  8. Much like the most experienced and successful athlete feels adrenaline and nerves before a race, part of ‘putting yourself out there’ IS the adrenaline. No matter how many years you’ve been writing, or how critically acclaimed you are, it’s an important part of the process to feel the adrenaline, in my opinion.

  9. Ohhhh I SOOO MISS the California beaches, the roar of the surf, the white glistening sand that warmed my body as I lay on it. When I meditate I still visualize laying in the sand and listening to the pound of the surf, it is so soothing.

    For me, swimming in the gigantic waves and body surfing into shore was a thrill and a fear. I didn’t want to catch the wrong wave and be thrown into the sand head first. Yet, I continued to body surf even when I was fearful. I think being afraid is part of the thrill in attempting anything… whether new or old. It is an adrenaline rush!

    You have caught your first wave and successfully made it into shore. The next wave is coming… you CAN DO IT!! Hugs!!

  10. I don’t live anywhere near a beach, but I usually try once a year to go on a retreat (vacations) near a beach or at least near a river or a lake. There something peaceful about water, even if getting in the water is always a risk. It’s the same as creating : you take a risk when you put yourself out there, but once you do, you are peaceful with yourself. You created something and you let it go with the flow. Scary and peaceful! (That’s how I see it!)

    • Scary and peaceful. I know what you mean, Catherine. Thank you. I read your post and tried to comment twice. Hope at least one comment took. Had some trouble with it. Happy to see you here.

  11. The beach is always so rejuvenating. I don’t like living so far from the beach. So I have to get a beach fix at least once a year. Funny that my topic for today is Sylvia Beach. Too funny. Ciao, Denise

  12. Did you find that, after publishing, your fears decreased or increased? I find that taking things one step at a time–or, if you will, taking each wave as it comes–is the only way to deal with the panic that fears (or a long commitment like publishing a novel or doing the A to Z challenge) brings on. It turns the “I have to do this, and do this, and then that…” into some sense of order.
    Andrea Lundgren
    Into the Writerlea Blog

    • Fear decreased a little after publication, yes. It helped that my publisher was there to guide some of my steps through. But a large part of fear remains, and that’s probably good in the sense that I should never become complacent. Taking things in small doses sure helps. Thank you, Andrea, for reading and the lovely comment.

  13. Your words on fear and creativity co-existing, reminded me of a passage from the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
    Have you read it? If not, do yourself a favor and get the book. :)

    Here’s the passage I’m talking about:
    “Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting—and, may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you form our activities, but still- your suggestions will ever be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not to allowed to touch the road maps, you’re not allowed to suggest detours, you’re not allowed to fiddle with the tempter. Dude- your not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
    ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

    Writer In Transit

    • Michelle, thank you! I love it. Yes, fear has an important job — to induce complete panic and, perhaps, keep us from feeling entitled once our work is out there, particularly if it was warmly received, because things change from day to day, and in any creative business there are more downs than ups. I will certainly look at this book closely. Appreciate you sharing the passage.

  14. The beach does such wonders for my mind – it’s cleaning out your pores, but instead it’s those weights of daily living. Someone I know once said you need to do something that you’re afraid of every day to truly live. Hard to do, but regarding my pantry today, before I cleaned it out, was truly fear-instilling ;)

  15. The beach is so cathartic. When I vacation near a beach, I am there every day!
    @simplymarquessa from
    Simply Marquessa

  16. Lovely post. When I’m feeling stuck or depressed, I go to the beach and let the salt wind blow the negative vibes out of me. Happy A to Z!

  17. Ahh, now this is a post dear to my creative heart. Fear is my narrator for EOS. He (because in my head, Fear sounds like Benedict Cumberbatch) would say that Fear is our greatest ally, the whisperer of possibility, of passion, of purpose. The catalyst for revolution, for innovation, for transformation, where risk is the means to reward.

    The AtoZ of EOS

  18. What a great theme and brilliant B. I love beaches and can’t believe I moved so far away from one 11 years ago from living 15 mins walk away. Hardly get there these days. Stupidest decision of my life.. or one of them!
    Fear is my constant companion and finally we’ve come to a compromise, these days we just laugh together as I dip my toe in and see where it takes me whatever he whispers.

  19. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare to a nice beach. Love this post!

  20. I think fear and anxiety never go away when we wade into new waters, Silvia. I will be giving an author presentation on my two books on May 22, a presentation I conceived of (I’m presenting with two other authors) and of course am now feeling that trepidation and anxiety. But I must do it. As for the Pacific, I know it’s hard to wade in, since the shoreline drops right off and you’re carried immediately into the waves. I enjoyed this post. The beach and sea are so regenerating. Now that I’ve blogged about our Jersey shore beaches, I’ll be blogging later on about Southern California beaches, SoCal where I lived for years and still miss.

  21. Feel the fear and do it anyway…

  22. I adore beaches. I’d love to someday live by a beach, and miss the seashore vacations my family used to take every summer.

  23. Hello,
    I’m also blogging A-Z. I enjoyed this post. It is also said that Einstein could not sail, but when he would visit Rhode Island in the summer, he would go out sailing every chance he could. He said it soothed the mind.
    Keep Writing,
    Zulu Delta

  24. Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News and commented:
    There is no other way but going forward, catching the wave and riding it as best you can.

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