I’ve not had much time to blog recently. It’s because I’ve been busy instead writing my book.
At the end of the Wicklow Round in May 2009, I realised that I wanted to write a book about the challenge and my successful completion of it. I wanted to also document what happened in July 2008 when my attempt went so horribly wrong.
As I began to put my book together, I also realised that I have a story to tell about how I got into mountain running in the first place back in 2006. And whilst writing about that epic first run, I found it hard not to write about the Irish mountain running scene too: the races, the people, and the craic that make mountain running in Ireland the great sport that it is.
In order to do the Wicklow Round, I had to learn how to navigate, how to read a map and use a compass. The book will also contain stories of the many navigational races around Ireland where you get to test such skills, including the Mourne Mountain Marathon, the 24 hour Irish Rogaine, and IMRA’s navigational series. And the book will also detail my foray into the adventure racing scene in 2007, a necessary turning point that ultimately spurred me on towards trying the Wicklow Round.
I have written a book proposal already, which I intend to start sending out to potential publishers soon. I am also half way through writing the first draft of the actual book. It takes a lot of time, remembering what happened and writing it all down. But thus far it has been a highly enjoyable experience.
Writing the book has made me realise what a fun three years I had mountain running in Ireland. I had chances to visit amazing places, meet incredible people, and do some crazy things. It has also revealed to me things about myself I hadn’t entirely grasped before. I didn’t realise how willing I am to give just about anything a try, even if I don’t have the experience, the ability, or the skills to even attempt it. Sometimes this gung-ho attitude has worked out. Sometimes it hasn’t: there are definitely times when I bit off more than I could chew. But I suppose it’s this attitude that made me even think I could do the impossible: that I could actually complete the Wicklow Round. It’s also this attitude that makes me believes that I can write a book, even though I’ve never done such a thing before.
When I tell people what I’m up to, I’m amazed by the number who too want to write. But they say they don’t have the time, the energy, the idea, or the commitment yet to put it down on paper. I’m privileged to have all these things in place right now and I want to make the most of it. So hopefully I’ll be finished within the next few weeks, and be getting some positive replies from publishers.
Until then, my blog will continue to be a little less populated than usual. But rest assured, I’m still writing, only for a slightly different medium for the moment.
2011 UPDATE: Want to read more about the Wicklow Round? Check out my book, “Mud, Sweat and Tears”.