Clearing the Coffee Cups
My office, also my bedroom, shares similarities with my website. Over the course of a few days, despite best intentions to keep the area tidy, it rapidly deteriorates. I don’t file my paperwork, neglect to take my coffee cups to the kitchen and slowly, my work space disintegrates into a mess. When the lack of organisation becomes too much, I have a blitz and sort it all out.
My old website was the same. Over the course of the last four years, I’ve neglected to do the occasional spring clean. Whilst happy with the content, the clutter has built up, there’s too much going on and it lacks the clean, simple appearance I’d like.
I needed to clear away the coffee cups.
So, over the last couple of months that’s exactly what I’ve done, the website has been given some love. Coffee cups have been washed, a diligent dusting operation was implemented, and the paperwork is now filed.
I have to say I’ve done what I can, but my programming skills are limited so David Taylor of West Sussex Websites has done the bulk of the work, and a sterling job he has done as always. The old content is still there – my walks, the blog (obviously), the bookshop and more. I don’t like change any more than most, but sometimes change is a good thing. I hope it’s simpler, less cluttered and that you like it.
Any other changes?
Only one. I will continue to write about the outdoors on the blog but I’ll also be publishing posts focused more on writing, in particular self-publishing. I can’t tell anyone how to write a book, I’m self-taught after all, but I can offer a few pointers.
If you’d like to write a book, only you can fulfil that aspiration.
However, I can smooth the journey for you and offer advice that will make it easier such as formatting, editing, marketing, design, getting reviews and more.
The Next Book
In terms of adventures, I’ve had a quiet year. I’ve spent most of it diligently working on the website, changing my book cover designs, and writing my next book. As yet untitled, it’s focuses on my hike across Scotland last year. I managed to complete the toughest hike in the UK – The Cape Wrath Trail. Continuing onto the West Highland Way to Milngavie, I navigated across Scotland and finished at the border with England. It fulfilled an ambition to journey across an inspiring country on foot.
It was the hardest hike I’ve ever done, harder than the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.
Why? I wasn’t only battling the weather (I got rained on for 31 days straight), trying to navigate, or getting up and over mountains. I was fighting a far more fearsome beast and indeed, I still am.
I was unaware at the time, but during the last few months I have realised I was suffering from depression. Not just battling an illness that struck this year, or during my Scotland hike, but for the past five years. And I was completely oblivious to it.
Release is planned for October hopefully. But, you know me, I’ll probably change that.
The Depression Thing
I admit to being ignorant about depression in the past. I thought sufferers were merely having a bad day. Perhaps they should put more effort into their wellbeing and just snap out of it?
I realise now, having been through it, and still continuing to dip in and out, that depression is often out of my control. It is not a choice; not a mood that can be snapped out. It is an illness we have limited control over, almost at time to the point of desperation.
However, the good news is that help is at hand and depression is a war that can be fought, and won.
My next book, due later this year, focuses on that trip through Scotland, and my battle with depression. Of course I’ll let you know when it’s available.
As well as being hard at work on that next book, I’ve also tweaked the existing titles a little.
They’ve all been subject to a re-edit, and this is mostly in part to the feedback you, the reader, has provided. No book is perfect, nor will it ever be but I welcome feedback, especially when it concerns a mistake so I can correct it. Thanks to Alex Roddie at Pinnacle Editorial who continues to put up with my somewhat demanding requests.
The new covers have been a work in progress for weeks. One thing I have learned is that people DO judge a book by its cover.
The Journey in Between, my first book and El Camino de Santiago memoir, is now at a permanent low price. You can pick it up for just £0.99 on this Fair Isle, $0.99 over the pond and €0.99 elsewhere in Europe. This price has also been reduced accordingly for other countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
If 0.99 isn’t cheap enough for you, remember you can download the entire book for free, no catches, just by signing up. This also means you can read the first two chapters of my other books, to try before you buy.
Having quit my old decorating job a few months back to concentrate on writing, my books are now my main source of income. Thanks to everyone who’s stopped by and grabbed a copy.
You can see a recent interview, and some good questions asked by Many Books here.
Welcome to the new website!