I haven’t written for so long I’m terrified to post anything. But tonight, I found myself idly flipping through some of the blogs I follow, hoping to discover updates from other parts of the world, and realised if someone were to check my blog, they’d be sorely disappointed. My Blog Post page was coming up without content, which goes to show no one’s been reading my posts for a very long time.
On the 7th of October, my seventh anniversary for finishing the PCT came and went. I was on a trip at the time, laughing at the fact I created a schedule to finish my book by this date back in the spring. Thanks to my partner Tom (and I really mean thank you), who moved to my hometown in April, I decided it would be better to spend the summer in my kayak or hiking. So subsequently, I haven’t written a word since. But I’ve also had one of the best summers of my life despite Covid-19, thanks to the fact I live in a lightly populated country and province and have spent most of my free time in the backcountry with the world’s most magical human.
I plan to pick up the manuscript this winter, but the longer I leave it, the less inclined I am to tell my PCT story. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. I’m leaving the option open to either continue working on it, or as my dear friend Penny suggested, sit on a mountaintop, read it into the wind, and then let it go.
Part of me wants to finish the book, while I’m also glad the manuscript never entered the world. I’m still unclear what the story is about. I wanted to write about the most remarkable six-month period of my life because I still, to this day, relive so many moments with delightful nostalgia. But I’m inclined to leave the past behind. I’m scared I’ll be perceived as some love-struck fool, from what my editor in New York said, who gets into all sorts of stupid situations because of blindly following her heart.
I guess I’m scarred by her comment that my character wasn’t likable. This one hurt the most. If I had so many followers and praise for my blog, why would I want to publish something that makes me look foolish? I used to think it would be the best trail story ever written, and after receiving her feedback more than a year and a half ago now, I was shocked by how far I fell short. She even convinced me to write an entirely different manuscript, which has crippled and confused me. But I’m determined to make one final assessment this fall.
I’m aware I sound like a broken record, so if you’re thinking this post is just another rant about whether or not I’m going to write my book, you’re correct.
Have I been ranting about this topic for the past few years? Yes.
Am I going to continue ranting about this subject? Most likely.
Should you continue reading my blog if this is the case?
I’ll leave that decision to you.
At least I can take this opportunity to say I miss my online community and my faithful PCT followers. You all carried me through the most challenging times of my most recent years, and I’m truly grateful. If I do get back to hashing out the manuscript, it will be because of you. And if I don’t, I hope you’ll sit with me on that mountaintop in spirit as I read the words into the wind and say goodbye.
38 thoughts on “Into the wind”
I’ll keep reading!!
Lots of love from Holland!
Haha thanks Huub! All my love back to you guys! ❤️
I’m so happy I found your post. I love your writing!
A couple of thoughts, quickly because I have ADHD ☺️
– I believe you’ve already started sharing about your PCT story… 😉 and I want to read more!
– What people may think of us? Ugh… That question kept me from posting for I don’t know how long, until I made my peace with it: some are going to love me, some are going to run the other way (yes; I don’t believe there’s a grey area with me LOL)
– But you say you “are determined”. AWESOME
– Last but not least, can I say send the “f” word to your editor?
Your writing is beautiful. It seems you have a lot of adventures to share, with a unique voice.
I honestly look forward to read more from you
Awww thanks Laly, what a lovely message. Everything you said is so true. Thanks for understanding and for the supportive push. I really appreciate it!
It’s nice to hear that you’re still out there and making the best of a strange year!
I hope you publish your book. Your writings take on an importance and relevance that is unpredictable when they’re combined with another person’s perspectives and feelings. So you and your editor may have one reaction or view of what you’ve written, but others will have different reactions and value your writings in different ways. For example, your PCT videos and stories were some of the very first ones about hiking that I ever read. Thanks to you, I’m now pretty immersed in the hiking community, even if it’s just on Youtube at the moment. I’m planning on getting some real hiking done this Fall, and that’s all thanks to you.
Have a great Fall 2020!
Thank you for taking the time to share this with me Mike. It amazes me to hear feedback like this and motivates the hell out of me too. I’m so glad I was able to inspire you to immerse yourself more into the world of hiking both online and in the great outdoors! Keep warm and enjoy the beauty that awaits you!
I know so many people would love to read about your adventure as I was glued to it myself in real time as you were living it. I hope it comes to fruition, but I get it.
So glad you are happy and well.
Thanks for both understanding and motivating me. It’s so much easier writing in real time for me. I just hope I can fall into the joy of writing the book, or any book, again! 🙂
The world is so very different than when last we heard from you, dear friend. Your smile just took my heart by happy suprise!
Wow…..I sure have missed your face!!
The sun still rises and sets each day. But I believe for so many of us, some of lifes beautiful colors are harder to see lately. The viberant pinks and oranges that spoke of hope for a brand new day may have faded. Evenings simply slip into darkness as these difficult months carry on.
None of us know “how” to do this thing called 2020.
But these moments of joy you suprise us with, light the way and spark hope for a better day.
I haven’t done a lot of singing lately. But I will today
🎶🎸 Thanks to You.
Write the book…
Don’t write the book….
Just invite me to the mountain top.
As always yours,
Ahhh Lyndella, your words are like a breath of fresh air! What a delight to hear from you and feel the energy and warmth in your heart. My body feels heavy at times, like riding a rollercoaster as it soars down the track. But there are moments of lightness too, and the feeling of flying dispersed in between these crazy months we’re living. There is hope, and those colours will shine bright again under a new day’s sun. With love always, Muk xo
You know the impact your writing and experience had on me. I was about to start sending re-supply boxes in late February when Covid (and a few other things) sidelined my PCT hike for 2020. Your blog got me into hiking and thru-hiking and kept me sane in 2013 while I worked in a literally windowless office.
Write your book if it will make YOU happy. I love your writing, as do many others, so I know we would love to read your adventure from a new perspective, but only do it for you. Shit, I still re-read your 2013 blog, so as long as that’s available, I’m good!
Great to hear from you Muk! Glad to see it looks like you also found someone who understands you and can be by your side.
Stay safe, healthy, and hike on!
Ian, thank you. Firstly I’m so sorry your hike was sidelined this year. I’m not sure how I would have handled that back in 2013 when the thought of the trail was literally my life blood getting me through the months proceeding it. I hope that your adventure can begin next year and that the impact of Covid won’t linger too long into next year. I’ll be thinking of you. And secondly, thank you for your support, understanding and acknowledgment. Reading your message illuminates the best elements of the human condition and gives me hope. Thank you so very much! Muk ☀️
I’d be curious if you hired/found another editor, what they might think (and if they would have a different opinion). Things are interpreted in such different ways, and one person’s opinion is just… one person’s opinion. I have a cousin who is a writer, and she’s part of an editing group with two other people… she says that if one person doesn’t like what she’s written but the other does, then she can continue to go with her gut and chalk it up to someone just having different taste, etc. But if BOTH have issue with a piece, then she knows to pay attention to their thoughts.
For what it’s worth, I’ve been following your blog for a long time, and for nearly just as long have been working on my own book about my walk on the Camino. I’m terrified to even show it to anyone, and really fear that I come off so differently in the book than maybe I do on the blog/in real life. It makes my head spin! But I always love seeing your posts, so thank you for writing!
Awww thank you Nadine! I actually have a wonderful editor in Holland who has been one of the most supportive human beings in my life. We have worked on the book together from the beginning, and she is as close to the book as me, which is why we decided to get a second opinion. I have a few close friends who have also read the manuscript and the issues are repeated in their feedback, so I know they are real. But I know there is merit in there too, so I won’t give up hope if I believe the story should be told. I wish you every success with your own memoir and hope to have the chance to read it one day. Thanks again for your support! Muk
Happy to see you back. Whatever you post seems to bring joy to us followers. Your book is not finished yet. New chapters being created. Take us along.
Thanks Rex, just writing this post got the juices flowing again. I actually wrote it not intending to post it. But I decided to be brave and just share it anyway. It always feels like I’m connecting with old friends when I do! 💕
A couple of weeks ago I realized you hadn’t posted in a long while and wondered how you were. Well, love is a great excuse for absence and great news! Only one other trail blogger I follow has even been active since the lockdown so no worries!
Haha! Thank you so much for your message. Perhaps, like me, no one can bear writing about Covid-19 and are lying low. I’ve been very happily distracted this summer for sure, and thankfully keeping sane with so much time outside. Nature is proving her power even more this year it seems. I hope you are well and getting out on your own local adventures. Thank you so much for connecting!
I love it that you are going with your gut feeling, it means, – here you are again”. All the replies on this blog are great and I love reading them. You are a brilliant writer and with your determination we may all read your book one day and not sit on that windy mountaintop with you.
The challenge lies with you, so go for it.
Love you, Mutti xx
Thanks for your motivation Mutti. I feel like my creative path got diverted this year. But I’m feeling the desire to sing, dance, and write flooding back. If only I could get on stage again soon! Thank you for always supporting me in everything thing I do. Love you 😘
You seem to be coming at this from such a good place, Rozanne. Your doubts are actually uplifting to me because you are dealing with them without anguish or self pity. That’s impressive. Keep rolling down that road and someday…….well, who knows?
And keep that blog going. It’s always good to know where you are—- physically and spiritually.
Thank you Dave. Writing this post brought me so much joy. I’d forgotten the energy I get from expressing my thoughts, especially when I receive such overwhelming support from people like you and the incredible community that has rallied around this blog. I feel incredibly lucky to have a platform supported by the best of humanity. It’s rare in this sometimes intimidating online world. I hope you are well and are navigating this challenging year as best as possible. Sending all my love!
That’s okay, sweetie!! All things in its time and those things come and go! You do what you want.. no pressure should be heaped on you by friends or anything else.. do what you love best..spend those precious moments of your life, that when you look back will give you the satisfaction that you did just that!! (Know that we love you!! No Matter What!!) it’s brought me such joy that you, dear Suzanne, have caused my precious moments to be filled with thankfulness that you were and are part of my life! Just you being alive here on this beautiful planet and befriending me is a wonder! You “ being” is enough!! I love you just as you are!! Thanks again for being real and sharing your heart with us!! From your old, young at heart, friend here in San Diego..please keep well during this trying and sad attack on all humankind! Barbie
Hello my dear friend Barbie, it’s always such a delight to receive your notes. I was just reliving the day I came to visit you with Tom, and was telling him how magical it was to experience your energy and joy. I feel really at peace at this moment about the book. I’m both eager to get back to writing, and quite prepared to let it go. Time will tell. I hope to share more of my thoughts and experiences through these colder months. It’s been a testing year, but I hope you’ve been blessed with happiness and peace. With love, Muk 💕
Hey you, love hearing from you and especially seeing you smiling and with a partner.
IMO your blog was a hit because it was transparent, in the moment, and real with so much emotion. We walked in your shoes, cried, laughed, struggled and laughed some more. You shared real life in a relatable way.
How you transfer that to a book, I don’t know. You have a gift. Use it in a way that helps you soar and in that way we will fly with you.
Sending hugs and love.
Jan!!! It’s so good to hear from you! I’ve thought of you many times these last couple of years. I hope you’re doing alright. Thank you for your inspiring words. They mean so much to me! I’ve struggled with how to transfer something that’s written in the moment to the format of a book for so many years. We’ll see what happens. Even if I relive the whole thing again and never publish it, nothing with be lost. I could live that experience 100 times and always learn something new. Sending all my love to you! ❤️
Exactly Muk! I’m currently working on converting my blog to photo story pages and it’s been great fun reliving my journeys. I had knee surgery 3 weeks ago and am in bed 24×7 for 3 more weeks so it’s the perfect project. I’ve wanted to tackle for a long time but knew it would be an overwhelming project. I’ll be so happy to have a printed copy of my adventures.
Wise words shared with me say make plentiful deposits of memories while you’re able so eventually you can make withdrawals. You’ll know when the time is right. Just don’t let the book stop you from living in the now.
Sending hugs and love. I can’t wait for our paths to cross again!
Your photo book sounds like the perfect project to keep you sane while your knee recovers. I’m so glad you’re enjoying reliving the memories too. I like what you said about not letting the book stop me from living in the now. Perhaps it did for a few years while I was writing those drafts, but that was my now back then, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Take care Jan, and I hope to see a copy of your book one day too!
The picture overlooking the mountains is superb. When it becomes time to write again you will know, and thanks for posting this piece.
Thank you Geri. I really appreciate your kind words.
But is it a rant that helps you decide?
If ranting doesn’t help, time provides the answers instead!
Write your book!!!
And then come visit me in South Africa and paddle the ‘dusi!
Amazing to hear from you!! Thanks so much for your message. That sounds absolutely awesome! Sending you giant hugs xo
I just wanted to say that your PCT journey was the first one I found so so many years ago when I was interested in the PCT. Now, I am finally almost at a point where I will have the time to do it myself, and I thought of you. I came to find your videos and read your blog for research/inspiration and was sad to see you no longer post updates on your adventures. I hope you are well and thriving!
Hi Christie, sorry I’m only seeing this now. I’ve been offline for a while. I’m so grateful for your comment and hope you’ve had the chance to begin your PCT adventure. Do let me know!