On Wednesday December 23, the Plan Sea book was released to the world. The occasion was commemorated at a live launch event in Arambol, Goa, India, from sunset through the night.
Plan Sea is available now on planseabook.com, through India on pothi.com, and internationally on all the major booksellers from January 14, 2021. Here are some thoughts from the author to celebrate this day.
A Message from Plan Sea author S.E. Ansley
I’d like to warmly thank everybody for being a part of the Plan Sea journey, whether this is the first time you’ve heard about it, or you’ve participated during the story.
Writing a book is an epic undertaking, one that any aspiring writer, creative, communicator or deep thinker should consider in their lifetimes. There is an intimacy between words on screen and paper, with oneself; a means of harnessing various parts and powers of our minds. Writing is a medley of deep introversion, where we are alone with ourselves and our thoughts. Yet we must still find a means to communicate, whether it’s by labouring over a properly-worded sentence to scribble on a page, or to articulate more complex ideas and emotions with the intention of nudging a reader along a path.
Writers inherently must be able to cope and thrive in silence and solitude, for anything less can be impossible to progress any substantial work. Distractions come in the form of the usual suspects – online notifications, social impulses, relationship needs, and third party demands – while also inner conflict, where we think too much, or too hard. Let alone the typical gamut of human complexities, self-doubt and mustering motivation. Sometimes we can be grumpy to others around: Let us think and work in peace! It’s nothing personal.
For Plan Sea, the entirety of the book was crafted on the road, while travelling. For over three years I had to summon the daily drive and motivation to chip away, even if it was scribbling down happenings or thoughts, or sitting for hours in the wake of inspiration or aftershock to best capture recent events. Other than bursts of domestic stability, such as living in Poland in between road trips or global excursions, my homes were always short and temporary. I travelled to twenty-five countries in three years, and probably slept on a hundred different beds. Somehow I mustered the discipline to wake up each morning, dedicate the early hours of my brain to writing, and continue crafting the Plan Sea narrative.
Plan Sea: The Never-ending Story
The story never seemed like it might end. Even after the travel tips guidebook was scrapped in favour of focusing on the more magical narrative unfolding, there were numerous possible finales intended over the middle of 2018. There was the sensible closing of circles at the Borderland Burning Man festival in Denmark, while there was the exciting, romantic mystery of what might happen after David August’s performance at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie: Where next? However, magic (and Magia) unrelentingly unfolded, and I continued to depict events from my life into the story. This meant I kept writing, even when close to major world events like the bombings in Sri Lanka in April 2019, and through lockdown in the second quarter of this crazy 2020. Lockdown seemed a logical ending, not just for the weight of the global crisis and the universal uncertainty, but because this book had lasted long enough.
I spent most of 2020 editing Plan Sea. From February I released weekly chapters in eBook form to a sizeable email audience. In retrospect, these chapters were more like final drafts, riddled with errors, incessant waffling and traces of hurt feelings that I hadn’t been able to release through my physical, mortal life. Lockdown afforded me the opportunity for months of sustained dedication and progress, raising my editing and reviewing to higher levels. Even then, there were several further layers of self-editing, with help from professional friends and hobbyist colleagues. I continued to learn, and apply the lessons to my scrupulous, daily editing of Plan Sea.
In the end, I’m aware Plan Sea is not perfect: much like me and my existence. There are minor grammatical mistakes, occasional misplaced apostrophes, questionable comma usage (intended for pauses during longer sentences), and some typos. I think this is more truly the raw essence of myself and my journey. So often, as humans in today’s fractured modern world, we strive for the impossibility of perfection, the endless revision and cleaning-up of such removes blemishes but also slivers of the soul and spirit of original works. It’s like how modern music has become so digitally precise and robotic, with vocals perfectly pitch shifted, yet it doesn’t feel natural or truly human. I hope we can revert more to raw, real, analog and acoustic methods of artistry, remembering that computers are a tool to help us, and not to be programmed to replace the human spirit.
Enjoy the Journey of Life
Plan Sea is a journey that I lived through a million times. Beyond adapting to physical events, I’ve had to note everything, write, re-write, re-read and edit many dozens of times, betraying my characteristic living in the moment. It’s time for me to return to my actual life, unencumbered by replaying the past, over and over. I’m not sure I’ll write a book like this again, but I couldn’t be happier with the result. To me, seeing and feeling the book in physical form, the project is now a success. Everything else is the (vegan) icing or organic cherry on the dessert. As you’ll learn about me, I’m about the journey, and am not much motivated by material means, other than upon the need to survive.
I hope you enjoy Plan Sea. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have, whether it’s about the book, or perhaps a tweak you hope to enact in your own life. For the writers and creatives: consider a writing odyssey of your own. There is no other introspective journey quite like it. Enjoy your adventures, and every day along the way.
Thanks for being a part of Plan Sea. Best wishes ahead in 2021 and beyond.
WHERE TO FIND PLAN SEA
You can also search your favourite bookstore to order copies of Plan Sea.
For any book or press-related enquiries for the Plan Sea book release, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org