Last year whilst backpacking on my own for four months around Indochina and Australasia I wrote a blog. I was resistant at first – travelling writing is not my thing, to either read or write and I thought it would distract me from the business of being on holiday. But in the end enough people had mentioned it that I thought, alright then, and it would be easier than having to write to lots of different people all the time.
It turned out to be one of the best things about the trip.
The blog turned into, if not the raison d’etre, a very significant part of my travelling experience. I wrote 84 posts over 5 months and really enjoyed the discipline of producing short, complete works on a regular basis (every 1-2 days). I carried a notebook at all times and got into the habit of composing whole paragraphs in my head whilst I was out and about experiencing the countries. In effect, I was a writer for those four months.
It made me see how much I valued the activity of writing and how I really wanted to do more of it. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but now I really wanted to be a writer. I got a decent number of site visits and many positive comments from my readers (believe it or not, not all of whom were my friends!)
I also now have an extremely detailed account of those four months of my life, which I’ll forever be grateful for.
After I got back, one or two friends started to put the idea in my head of turning my blog into a more polished piece of work. A book even! This was certainly tempting as I’d done such a large amount of work already. Again I was a bit resistant. I don’t know the genre, I didn’t think what I had been through was particularly unique or thrilling. A friend pointed out that often people like to read these kinds of books to get ideas for their own travels – they’re not necessarily looking for life and death struggles.
I also knew that there was a lot more I could include about the personal side of this journey. The blog was more or less a factual account of what I did. It didn’t really touch on how it changed me as a person, which would arguably be the more compelling story.
So, where I stand at the moment is I am gradually copying and pasting all the content into one document, starting to tidy up the writing (I never did learn how to spell Buddhist) and pondering how I could make it more of a real story, rather than just a diary of events. My tentative idea at present is to possibly offer it eventually as a very cheap ebook.