Finally, I sat down today and wrote out a comprehensive plan of how to take my hiking novel forward. The main issue I’ve faced is that a lot of the advice I’d given was pre-pandemic, so, for instance, info on train travel to reach destinations or visiting a pub was in need of revision. Covid-19 caused my usual drive to evaporate – like a lot of people’s, I guess – and I shelved my attempts to carry on with writing the novel for several months.
Lockdown came and went. Thankfully, my editor, Jessica Coleman (www.colemanediting.co.uk), was always on hand to give me sage advice. Jessica advised me to keep a journal of 2020 to record not only the hikes I took in this new world, but also what coping mechanisms I adopted. Without this sound and simple advice, I think I may’ve consigned my book as a lost project – something which I’m ashamed to admit.
Keeping a journal has been a novel experience for me: the whole exercise has been a chance for me to reflect and to think up new ways to carry on hiking. For instance, if you read my recent post on how to travel the world for free, you’ll know that I’m attempting to walk every capital city in the world via YouTube from the comfort of my own front room. So far, I’ve done six; I’m going to give an update on my virtual adventures in a near future post. Spoiler alert: I’m off to Caracas, Venezuela tonight.
Being able to reflect made me realise on a deeper level than before that hiking is therapy for me. Going outside freely again after lockdown – in a socially distanced way – over the summer emblazoned my heart with fresh passion. I think that deeper sense of love for this hobby comes across more in my renewed edits.
Journaling has given me a source of hope and strength. Without thinking about it, I was writing the book even when I was thinking about giving it up. Sure, as well as revising what I’d already written, I have another chapter to write for this year. But that’s okay because, thinking about it now, despite all that’s gone on I know I can relay a message of hope.
When hope was lost it was hard for me to write. But thanks to my family, friends, Jessica Coleman’s advice and kind words and being connected with lovely people here on WordPress, hope has returned.
Thanks for reading this. If you have any comments, it’d be great to hear from you.
Peace and love…and hope for now xxxx