Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ten Things I Learned about Writing From Captain Jack Sparrow, Savvy?

by Edie Melson

I love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. And my favorite character, hands down, is Captain Jack Sparrow. 

I'm always searching for new ways to improve my writing and keep moving forward with my career. True gems I've found, come from some of the unlikeliest places.

Today I’d like to share some of those gems from Captain Jack Sparrow himself. 

So here are Ten Things I learned about writing from Jack Sparrow, Savvy? 

1. Not all treasure is silver and gold, Mate. Sure we all want to get paid for our writing. And I’m definitely not advocating giving everything away. But the best things that come from your writing won’t be monetary. It will be the people you touch.

2. Plug your leaks. We all have weak spots in our writing. It’s our job to plug those. We are responsible for continuing to learn and grow in the craft of writing.

3. Hoist more sails. When you want to move forward with writing, whether it’s articles, books or something else. Sometimes you have to put more out there.

4. Be resourceful. Sometimes we find ourselves on a deserted island with writing. Think outside the box and think yourself out of there.

5. Hang on to your hat. Don’t get so flustered that you loose your head. Keep hold of what’s important to you.

6. Sail with the tide. It’s one thing to be creative and think outside the box. It’s another to try to set sail against the tide. Be savvy and work with the system WHILE you’re staying true to yourself.

7. Regret nothing…EVER. This one’s hard. But truthfully, none of us would be who we are without the experiences we’ve had—good and bad. Learn from what’s gone before, but don’t waste time on regrets.

8. It’s nothing personal. With our writing it always feels personal, but often it’s just the way of the world.

9. There should be a ‘captain’ in there somewhere. Ultimately, you are the only person responsible for how your writing journey goes. We all need good advice, but don’t abdicate the decision making to anyone.

10. Follow your own compass. Jack’s prize possession is his compass. The reason it’s so dear to him is that it shows its owner’s heart’s desire. What you desire most is different from what I desire most. Always keep that in front of you, no matter what.

These are the ten things I can learn from Captain Jack Sparrow. I’d love to hear what you’d add to the list!

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. Edie, I love number 1! I agree that touching people through writing (and my photography) is amazing.

    What would I add? Well, Johnny Depp embodied Jack Sparrow. Jack was true to form throughout the series. When I write, I need to make sure that I write totally believable characters that are true to form throughout my novel.

    Love this post and the Pirates movies too!

    1. Mary, that's a great addition! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  2. I have never seen the Pirates of the Caribbean, only the snippets my youngest son put up on the computer, but...I loved this post, Edie. The snippets I have seen were funny and did everything a 'hero' should do. And I didn't see a single thing you shared here on this post that isn't relevant. Good job! ;)

  3. "They're more like guidelines than actual rules, really..."

    We have writing rules for a reason, but the best authors break them.... but they know HOW, and WHY to break them. Don't break a rule unless you know it, understand it, and can have other people say it's better your way, but not know why (but you have to know why.)

    An example. One rule is "Your protagonist has to suffer, or it won't be interesting."

    This is true, but I've seen people look at that and take it WAY too literally. There are other types of suffering besides physical pain...