Since I last wrote a blog post, the natural world has exploded into a kaleidoscope of colour.
I am incredibly fortunate to have a relatively large garden, which the previous owner managed to transform into an absolute haven of wildflowers. Yesterday, I counted 14 different wildflower species at a minimum – and with more on the way!
In a similar explosion of excited, my book Running Adventures Scotland was officially released on 5 May.
The past couple of weeks have been nothing short of extraordinary. Each of my social media platforms has go into a frenzy of notifications, as people unbeknown to me have come along to follow what I get up to.
The most surreal experience was – after a shameless plug for the book on a running Facebook group – several people I don’t even know commented say they already had the book and were actually using it.
Insane to think people would actually purchase my book and use it for its intended purpose!
Yesterday, I picked up a copy of Trail Running Magazine and found one of the photographs from the book splashed across a double-page spread with the title ‘Great Scot!’ and details about the book.
I feel immense gratitude to those people who have bought the book. To have worked on something privately for over a year and to then finally let it go is a nerve-wracking moment.
Will I be found out as a fraud? What if I missed something? Did I choose the right routes? Will it just gather dust on a shelf?
These thoughts have brewed in my head but, in reality, I am able to answer them:
- No. You were selected to write a book for a reason
- You did. You meant to. You cannot fit everything into 190 pages that you’d want
- As best you could. You had a criteria, you knew you had to miss some, and there is always more to explore
- If it does – who cares! It’s your book gathering dust. At least you’ve got one.
When 5 May rolled around and the pre-orders started landing, I didn’t bounce around like an idiot. I suddenly felt quite exposed for those above reasons. Something you put that much work into will be judged by others, and you’re at particular risk with the immediacy of social media.
However, it all seems to be going just fine and I am immensely proud of it.
If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, you can do so over on the Vertebrate Publishing website.
In other news, I recently had the pleasure of accompanying Alex Roddie on a Lake District fastpacking trip, someone I have long-admired in the outdoor writing world. I intend to write a post about it in the coming few weeks.
Alex is preparing for a sensational 1000km fastpacking trip across the Alps this summer, which sounds absolutely brilliant and I cannot wait to see how he gets on in his training and in the ultimate execution of the trip!
I also had the delight of interviewing Finlay Wild a couple of weeks ago for a low-key new venture for me in the world of podcasting.
Finlay has just recently broken the Paddy Buckley Round record, thus completing the three Big Rounds in the UK: Ramsay’s Round, Bob Graham and Paddy Buckley.
It was a great conversation and an amazing learning curve for me. Having never done any sound editing whatsoever before now, it was great fun to delve into that world and try something new. I am hoping to get a steady stream of them going, and hopefully the process will become slicker each time.
You can listen to that podcast by clicking the link below.
May is an incredibly busy month for me. Most of that is the day job, with several key events and a massive project on the horizon. On 29 May I am driving to Morvan in France for a little over a week and going to be running across the Jura Mountains on the border with Switzerland.
Hopefully by mid-June things will settle down a bit and I can get on with some fun projects.
Until then, thank you once again for all the support over the past month or so, and I hope you enjoy the book and the podcast.