In Nepal we met Matt, a fulltime traveller, volunteer and mountain climber. Since the closest I have ever come to mountain climbing is watching Touching the Void I was fascinated to hear about what it was like. Matt talked about moments of fear, of having to push it back down and not let it rise. He said climbing was as much mental as it was physical.
I am by no means a full professional writer; I have been paid for short stories but otherwise I have self published mini books and do the blog. Right now I am writing a full length book for the first time. And yes, it is at least fifty percent mental. By which I mean managing fear; motivation; why bother/what’s the point/should you be doing something else thoughts; distraction; lack of confidence; lack of concentration; and above all self belief. I manage all this by, firstly, committing to bum on seat, internet off, for the set amount of time, an hour or two most days; and secondly, by just focussing on the next task in hand. Here is my current list:
Beyond that, of course, is a whole load more stuff to do, editing, polishing, ensuring it all flows and fits, sorting out my ‘spirituality’ ramblings, and my repeated use of phrases such as, ‘I felt a lightness, a sense of possibility,’ let alone the fact that does it even have a plot? But if I think too much about all that stuff I’ll never face my next session!
We are in Cambodia for a month. We had six days in Phnom Penh and we are now on the lovely paradise island of Koh Rong. We have a week here, today is the second whole day. I can walk up a very steep hill (exercise!) to the local village to buy bananas and oranges and sit and have a drink before the walk back- it’s not far but it’s very hot; swim in the sea which I did yesterday evening once it cooled, and eat. Apart from that there isn’t much to do so I have absolutely no excuse not to get lots of writing done! I got up early this morning, hence the sky is a bit cloudy in the photo, but that is the view from my nearest cafe.
During our last weeks in India my head was busy with What’s Next? I tried to stay in the moment, or at least, in the trip, but in the end I thought, Well I’m a writer, perhaps if I write everything down it will get it out of my system. My husband had also been thinking about the future, so we decided to spend a bit of time talking about it, then forget about it. I wrote everything into a Word document, thinking I’d put it on the blog, and then it disappeared. I always email everything to myself as back up, so I could have found it, but I decided to just let it go. I don’t need to do anything now (except write the book and the blog), and my future self can sort out the rest.
Thank you very much for reading
For photos of the trip see Instagram travelswithanthony
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