Writing a book is the same as running a marathon or climbing the tallest mountain on a continent. It takes believing in yourself, taking one step at a time, and persevering. Each feat would be impossible if you didn’t prepare, have a goal, and break it down into little steps. Some steps are more difficult than others. Some may take more time, and some may require more resources. But goals are attainable! Anyone can make a dream possible- don’t get too comfortable with yourself, just work!
At first, the book was just a dream—however I realized I could use the notes that I kept during my adventures. I kept a daily journal of each major event. At the beginning on Mt. Kilimanjaro, I did not plan to write a book; it never occurred to me. But at the time, it was a means of keeping a record of my adventure to have for the future. I kept boxes with photos, maps, labels of medicines I took with me, receipts of purchases I made, names and addresses of the people I met, places I stayed, booklets, magazines, and newspapers native to that area I traveled in the world.
In my journals I documented everything about the animals I saw and their behaviors, the people I met, the geography, history, climate, and the geology of that particular region of the world. This was all interesting to me as I learned so much and was thrilled to be there for the first time in my life. I was like a child in a candy store as my mother would say. I can still picture writing with my headlamp in a tent in Kenya or on a glacier in Mt. McKinley and Elbrus. When I am writing I am excited about sharing what I consider special and I believe the reader will share my excitement too.
Once I pulled the information together I broke the book into chapters, focusing on tips to help my readers. For everything I write there is so much I could add about these adventures and other travels equally as special. When I start, I hand write my rough draft, then rewrite it on the computer and revise from there. This is more convenient and less time consuming for me. Each author has their own sytle. I think it’s good to get people to read your work as you progress. It is feedback, good or bad, and it is helpful. It is a support system: a writer and an avid reader.
Personally I enjoy reading just about any type of book, such as: fiction, biographies, cookbooks, history, and out-of-print books, too. As a teacher, I enjoy reading to children because they are honest and attentive. My children and grandchildren are avid readers; it is such a pleasurable pastime. When I plan an adventure, especially to a remote, unfamiliar area, I read up as much as possible on the area before I go and even more when I return home as I am all charged up from the experience. Reading goes hand-in-hand with adventures and branches off in many ways: past, present, real and make believe, and writing a book is the best way to take reading to a higher level. It helps you dream and dream big, and make it come true!