Did a lot of writing today. Twice the daily target I had set myself.

No wonder, I hear you say, after yesterday’s inspirational sunset boat ride. Odd thing is that the inspiration was all related to another project. Not a scrap of new insights or ideas for the novel I’m working on now.


The ideas I gathered yesterday were all for the third book of my Dutch middle grade series Boreas, the twelve-year-old who sails around the world with his parents. The first book, Boreas en de zeven zeeën (Boreas and the Seven Seas), came out last June, the book birth of the second book, Boreas en de duizend eilanden (Boreas and the Thousand Islands) is scheduled for April 13.

In the third book – no title has popped up yet – Boreas and his parents cross the Pacific. That’s where yesterday’s inspiration, brought to me by the awesome Will Rich and Captain Anthony, will go, because Boreas will not only sail along the east coast of the US but also end up in Hawaii.


And yet the writing today soared. Totally unconnected to yesterday’s musings.


Three reasons, I believe.

The first one has to do with wind. I love the wind. Always did, always will. Can never blow too hard for me. Ever. Wind blows my mind free like nothing else, for as long as I can remember. My mother called me Wind Child when I was young because whenever there was a breeze I would climb up on the roof and just stand there, catching as much wind as I could. The combination wind and water works even better.

The second reason is being by myself. My writing thrives on solitude. I experienced that in San Francisco. I experience it here too. I do write when there’s people around me, but with far less concentration, with far less zeal than when I’m alone. I’ve always known I have misanthropic tendencies, but I never realized they were this strong and I realize now that being a writer is an antisocial profession.

Third reason is being away from my desk. An unexpected discovery, because I spend quite some time alone at my desk back in Amsterdam, but I figured out why. I think. My desk is not just connected to writing but to everything else I have on my plate, from finances to teaching to editing to my work as a Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and chairman of the Working Group Children’s Books of the Dutch Authors Guild. Being away from Amsterdam creates not only a physical distance but also a mental distance and allows my writing to come first and gives it room to breathe and prosper.

So in the future, I’ll be carving out more time to commit myself to writing. It makes me happy.