Writing – I’m a Poor Swimmer

I use the expression I ‘jumped’ back into writing, but it was really anything but a jump. I got back into writing the same way I get into a cold-ass swimming pool (my wife will appreciate this analogy more than anyone else). I know I want to go swimming, but it’s cold. So Cold.

So, I go in up to my knees.  God, it’s cold. I go a little deeper, up to my thighs. Jumpin’ Jesus, it’s cold! Then I get a little more brave, go on in past a certain sensitive area, and on up to my waist.


At that point, it’s basically the point of no return. I still creep my way in, but the hardest part is over. Before long I’m up to my neck, until I finally submerge and acclimate to the water.

I remembered enjoying writing. A lot. But it was cold (so to speak). So I started slow.  I started my novella, then realized I forgot how hard (cold) it was. So I stopped for awhile, enjoying the knee-high level I was at. I began to slowly find things that encouraged me to go on in a little deeper. So I went back and wrote some more, then stopped again; up to my thighs. Then a whole slew of things happened that made me realize I needed to quit being such a freakin’ baby and take the plunge.

So, I went in up to my neck.

Here’s the thing : I am a terrible swimmer. I hesitate to even say that I actually know how to swim. But once I’m in the pool, I love it. It’s hard to get me out. I walk to the middle of the pool, where the water is up to my chin but my feet are still on the floor of the pool, and I just chill there. I’ll splash around, float on a pool noodle, all that, but I love just being in that middle ground. If I drift too far into the  deep end without realizing it, I have a small moment of panic. I know I’m fine, but my instinct is to freak the hell out because I know how poorly I swim.

I’ve almost reached that point with my writing. I took the plunge, and started working on my novella every day. I consider that about waist high. That was nice. Then, I finished it, which was awesome. As I began revising and editing, I started writing another one. I was just about right where I wanted to be; up to my neck, but with my feet on solid footing. I finished the second one before I finished revising the first one, so then I had two to edit. But I didn’t want to stop writing, so I started another, which is what I’m working on now.

I’m in that place, a couple steps past my comfort zone, where I have to struggle to keep my composure. Hopefully, it won’t last too much longer; I’m almost ready to submit novella # 1 (I swear this time), then I’ll just have to edit # 2 while I keep writing #3.

So far so good; but before long somebody may need to throw me a pool noodle.


Published by Kenneth Jobe

Kenneth Jobe is a writer, photographer, musician, and Native Californian living in the Midwest with his wife and son. His fiction has been published in Jitter, The Rusty Nail, Ghostlight: The Magazine of Terror, and the horror anthology Robbed of Sleep, Volume 2.

5 thoughts on “Writing – I’m a Poor Swimmer

  1. Love the analogy. I’m a poor swimmer, too, and I’ve been trying to talk myself into the big wholehearted plunge into writing for a long time. Like you, I am still polishing my first novel, promising myself and my writing partners that I will submit it – this time.

    1. A beta reader asked me if I’d submitted my novella anywhere yet, and I hung my head and said ‘no.’ She said ‘what? It’s been over a month!’ What can I say? I’m still tinkering…

  2. I can totally relate to this analogy. I’d be the one swimming around underwater to see if everyone else (other authors) were sitting on pool noodles, because how else could they POSSIBLY be staying afloat?!
    I’ve completed NaNoWriMo three years in a row and have never even looked at any of them again. How’s that for slow? 🙂

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