Monday, 31 October 2011

Starting to write

OK. so, I've got this plan to try to write a book about my experiences travelling on my bike. I thought I'd keep you updated with how that's going.

As I'm a teacher I had a half term last week and I rode my bike 300 miles up England and into Scotland to stay with a friend. I spent most of the week trying to write and got quite a lot done. I've nearly finished a first draft of the North American section of my trip. Basically what I'm doing is working with the words I wrote to put on the blog as I went along. I'm changing some, cutting some out and adding stuff. So far I've written 85,000 words which equates to about 115 pages of A4 type on the computer. I have absolutely no idea whether it is any good at all.

I realise that this is just a first draft and I'll need to go over it again and again before getting involved with anything as technical  as an editor.  My aim is to finish the first draft (including the Africa section) by Easter (It's hard to do this AND have a job!) and then start the refining process. Hopefully that's when the Ted Simon Foundation will come in and give me a hand.

If and when things develop I'll post more here.  - Ah, to think this time last year I was in Baja California ...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

I'm a Jupiter's Traveller

Believe me, I'm as shocked, bewildered, confused and scared about that title as anyone.

My own personal badge!

On Thursday night I went to launch of the Ted Simon Foundation. Set up to help travellers spread the word, the foundation was launched, up the road from my house, at the Coventry Motor Museum. I'd already decided to go along and support the event (after all Ted Simon was going to be there) but then I found out more about the whole adventure and decided to apply to be a "Jupiter's Traveller".

Bascially the foundation supports people, who have travelled, (not necessarily on a motorbike) to  record their thoughts and experiences and share them with the world. Or as it says on the website:

The Ted Simon Foundation believes that individuals of good will, moving among foreign cultures and making themselves vulnerable to the beliefs and customs of strangers, have great importance in promoting world understanding, and even more so when they can distill the essence of their experiences into a form that can be absorbed by many.

I applied explaining what I had done and that I was trying to write a book about my experience. Amazingly I was accepted and on Thursday night the fourteen of us who are the first cohort were announced at the launch. There is a blog page on the website and I think soon there will be more details posted there.

So hopefully now it means I will get some help in writing/editing/ publishing my book. A scary thought indeed. It also means I have to pull my finger out and do some writing. I have already written two chapters and got some positive feedback from people about it. But since starting work again I haven't written a thing. That needs to change. A lot of people are putting their time and effort into me, let alone their faith. I'd better pay them all back and produce something that encourages others to travel.

This new adventure I'm about to embark upon is a thousand times more frightening than just riding a motorbike around the world. That was easy.

This is the bike Ted Simon rode around the world on in 1973