A few months ago I decided I was going to write-up my 3000km cycle around Europe. So much happened, good and bad, I thought it would be a good idea to fully document it in a form that I could look back on. That’s how the idea started.
I had been approached by a few people saying they wish they knew more about my trip and more of the stories I had to tell, there is a lot. A few people suggested I write a book about my travels. I wasn’t totally sold on the idea at first. Writing candidly and vividly about my trip for people to judge me and my writing, it didn’t really appeal to me. Also I did not think my writing skills were up to the job. Undertaking a book is a big effort and requires a lot of time and great literary proficiency. I am borderline dyslexic, haven’t done English since GCSE’s and the only long prose I have written in the past two years has been on this blog. Not the best basis for writing a book.
Eventually the idea grew on me though. I decided there was no harm in trying my hand at writing a book. If I could motivate just one person to go out and try this type of adventure surely it would be worthwhile? That was my mentality so I decided that on February 12th I would start writing the first draft of my book.
I have read many cycling/travel books over the past year. They all have distinct similarities. A few chapters on why they are doing the trip, how they prepared and then roughly a chapter a day for the journey. For the longer expedition books they are often split up into different legs/parts. After seeing many people who have done similar trips and reading books I decided it couldn’t be that hard, could it? It must be easy, with a good plan.
I have now, after two days, written the first chapter of the book and am starting the second chapter today. I aim to have a first rough draft finished by the end of April. This all seems very fast. However, I am sure there will be many drafts and edits so this will take me quite some time to finish. It is a fun process remembering all the events which happened some of which I thought I had forgotten. It is a tough task writing it in a style which other people may want to read. I have to think of ways to express the running themes and events in ways which would appeal to more people than just cycle tourers. The writing is made easier by the detailed diary I kept whilst on my expedition. It is my most valuable tool in reminding me what happened on certain days. I am finding it a rewarding experience going back over the trip, through the route and images. Reminiscing over good times, bad times and tiring times. I feel strongly that everyone should carry a small diary with them when they are on a trip. I bought mine during the first few days from a French super-marché and it was one of the best decisions of the trip.
I still do not know whether I am going to try to get my book published when I finish it. It sounds like a very hard ordeal to go through; I am also not sure who would read it. There is always the option of publishing on kindle for free which I find more appealing. However I am definitely going to make at least one copy, for me.