I am finding the process of writing the first draft of my book very rewarding. It is a great feeling putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. However my initial preconceptions may have been a little confident, I doubt I will have the first draft finished by the end of this month. I do not think this is a major setback by any means, although it would have been nice to have had the first draft completed quickly. Instead I am happy writing here and there, whenever I get a free day or two. I have found this carefree approach works well for me. Having a very busy schedule means writing posts on here and writing a book all must find their slot alongside my other work, planning for summer adventures and revision for my impending A-Levels.
I am remaining resolute though and have set myself the new target of having a first draft done by July. Although it has been slow so far I have managed to make what feels like a considerable dint into it, I have now written close to 30,000 words and am about half way through. Hooray! I am finding the process of writing my thoughts and the events easier as well. Through the process I feel I am now more comfortable at expressing myself, although far from perfect, at least my talents are heading in the right direction. Or so I hope. I have never written a long section of prose before, my longest having probably been a thousand word essay during my GCSE year, a few years ago. So the experience is completely new, I have no idea as of yet how I am fairing. However that does not bother me at this stage. I am merely penning my thoughts, ideas and events that happened during my cycle around Europe. I am also adding structure and light humour, so I think. During the editing phase I will solidify my grammar, descriptions and make it a more finished piece. For that I will probably enlist the help of others to critique my work. That is a process which I am looking forward to yet also slightly hesitant about at the same time. I think it will be a good exercise in order to gain some constructive criticism. I just hope it isn’t too bad and I have to radically change the structure and appearance of my writing. However that will probably not occur until later in the summer; so something for ‘future me’ to dwell on.
Another thing for the future is to firmly decide how I am going to go about self-publishing. There are several different ways to go about doing this and each have their own pros and cons. I am a complete novice to this so have been reading up a little. However in the future I will try to contact people who have already gone through what I have, in order to get their opinion on how to go about publishing. What companies they used? How much it cost? Etc. I am pretty certain now that I will publish it. Although I was unsure at first I think even if I just get a few copies published for friends and family it will make a good memory of my cycle around Europe. However I may do it properly and put it on Amazon, we’ll see.
All the trials and tribulations we had to face, the joy, the tough decisions, and how we conquered all, defeating the odds and making it back home. It was a rollercoaster of a ride, for 3000 kilometres, so much went wrong and changed us as people because of it. I am definitely a different person since coming back, I think for the better. That made me think, although we wish everything to go perfectly on a cycle tour it is the hard times and the tough decisions that change us and allow us to learn. We learn from our mistakes, our bad experiences, they add drama to our days on tour. Although we do not welcome them at the time I have found those are the moments which stick out most prominently in my memory. Similarly these events are the most interesting for people to hear or to read about, without these events my book wouldn’t be half as interesting as I think it is. So all in all I am grateful for these moments in hindsight, although whilst on tour they can sometimes threaten to end the whole trip. It is during these moments when we often see ourselves in a different light, for better or for worse. I have enjoyed writing about these moments; we did have an awful lot, as it has unearthed old memories of the trip which in turn has let me learn more about myself.