Chris- you have always had a natural way with words.
Don't worry about spelling and grammar, let your thoughts flow naturally.
I look forward to reading it. It will be awesome.
Go for it. You’ve nothing to lose. Starting is the trickiest step, finishing it is easy. That’s based on no past experience whatsoever!
Love the drawings to go with your post. Did you do them? I entirely disagree with Hitchens (and I agree with him on many things). Most people never get beyond having ideas 'that would make great books' and, even if they start, they'll never get to that luminous moment when you write THE END. But for those who have the stamina and the discipline to stick with an idea, with characters, with plot, with whatever, through months and years, for those the writing of that book will be cathartic and hugely empowering.
Whether anyone else will ever read that book, is another matter entirely, but to me that's not the point. We write because it is our personal journey. Sometimes we get lucky and those books end up being loved by others, too. But that's the icing on the cake. We write for the cake, not for the icing. While that icing surely is nice, it is not what it's about - it is about the cake. I wrote about that once here > https://danielmartineckhart.substack.com/p/about-the-cake-the-icing-and-the
I've only just discovered your Substack, so no idea how far you've come at this point. But I wish you all the best with your work and if you ever need a second pairs of eyes, let me know. Cheers, D
"A collection of short stories inspired by my travels? But how should I package that and would anyone care?" -- If that's not a podcast/serialised audiobook/whatever, I don't know what is. With your audio background?
here's one to aspire to: Hunter Thompson's "Hells Angels". Come to think of it, there's an early version of his writings while he was in the Air Force, and you can see the progress of writing from not very chaotic to the madman he's known for. Can't remember the name of the book though - a collection of his Air Force articles as I remember. "Rum Diaries" is also a good one to get an early version of him writing on foreign soil. He also made a habit of copying via typewriter classic novels to get a sense of the writer, like F Scott Fitzgerald and Earnest Hemingway.
FWIW I really enjoyed Douglas Coupland's collections of stories and essays (Bit Rot is the most recent). My memory might be wonky but I think the other one (Polaroids from the Dead?) was a mix of stories, essays, artwork and photo montage. Anyway, I have no relevant experience or expertise to share, but hopefully the encouragement that you can put me down as a pre-release buyer is enough!
Good luck! From reading your newsletter over the years I'm sure it will be great - you've already published (in a way) so many fascinating anecdotes and stories of people you've met. A travel journal style book sounds good but as many people have said already, I think just start writing a little every day and see where it leads. I'm not a writer but know a few - according to them the process is at the same time the worst and best thing they've done (it just depends on what day you ask them).
Looking forward to reading :)
Not sure if helpful but my partner did a course at Faber which she found really useful: https://faberacademy.com
Put me down for a copy when it’s done. In terms of advice, other than just do it, have a look at Craig Mod’s Roden https://craigmod.com/roden/
JFDI. you are a brilliant writer already, a book should be a doddle for you. I have the same problem but unlike you I didn't even get a D. I will follow your progress and get my hope and inspriation from you and your wonderful followers. Someone has to write the B4RN book and I think I have the short straw. It has to be written. Good luck. xxx
Just Do It !
It doesn't have to make sense to anyone, maybe not even you, so just do it.
(this is mainly advice to myself but seems pertinent to you, too)
Well the best piece of advice I was ever given was just to write stuff down and worry about the structure, format etc. later. Just get writing and more writing will follow.
Stephen King - "On Writing"
John McPhee "Draft No. 4"
I also agree with Dave's comment about Craig Mod (see his recent "pop-up" newsletter TOKIO TŌKYŌ TOKYO, let me know if you want to see the emails)
Pretty much anything by Patrick Leigh Fermor (but I think you knew that already)
Anything by Horatio Clare but in particular "A Single Swallow"
Anything by Roger Deakin but in particular "Waterlog"
Anything by Robert Macfarlane but in particular "The Wild Places" & "The Old Ways"
Richard Nelson "The Island Within"
Pete Fromm "Indian Creek Chronicles"
Philip Connors "Fire Season"
Edward Abbey "Desert Solitaire"
Anything by Craig Childs but in particular "The Animal Dialogues"
Anything by Joe Hutto but in particular "Illumination in the Flatwoods"
James Holland "Brothers in Arms"
I could go on but I think that's more than enough - if you stop to read them all then you won't get any writing done. Good luck and very happy to be a beta reader if you need one.