Draft done

I set myself a challenge after the last blog. To try and finish a draft of the first book by the end of July 😱

Well here it is, the 31st July and the first draft is done.

Let’s be clear…this draft is scribbled in a notebook, barely readable and needs a ton of work to make it into an ACTUAL children’s book. But the lesson learned is that I work well to deadlines.

Small manageable chunks for the win.

I have learnt some other valuable lessons this month, which all helped to egg me on to get ‘The book’ done. The first lesson being that I still really love wild camping.

Granted, it was ‘prosecco and delicious food’ fuelled wild camping but even the weather didn’t put us off. A short vid from my camping buddy Jane should bring the weather to life.

We SUP’d along the canal in the day and slept in bivvy bags by night. Never slept in a bivvy before, always a tent. It’s a very different, but equally amazing experience. It was a special weekend and I felt quite a few heightened emotions on the trip.

1. A sense of tribe. These ladies are part of my tribe and they get it; they support me and they give me confidence to commit to crazy writing deadlines or bivvying near an axe murderer’s house (there was no axe murderer, this is added for dramatic impact). If you haven’t got a tribe, find one. Fast. It’s astonishing what they can help you achieve.

2. Teamwork. We had to light a fire (fold away BBQ, we are in our 40’s after all!) using Gemmas tampax and vasaline as the b@&tard just wouldn’t light. She and Ellie are basically Bear Grylls. We hooked up the tarp in the pouring rain with those annoying torrents of rain flowing down the arms of your coat. All of us wanted to make sure the other persons tent or bivvy was in a nice dry patch and not on top of a badgers set or other equally terrifying option. We weren’t doing this in our usually motherly way, we were doing it as mates on an adventure, which is a totally different feeling.

3. Outdoors is best. I have always known this, but I just don’t sleep outdoors enough. The sound of the rain on the tarp, the smell of the fir trees and the view out of a tiny letterbox sized hole in your bivvy (knowing you have survived without being murdered by a nutter or by the large volumes of alcohol consumed the night before 😬) in the morning is like nothing else.

It made me realise how much I love adventures and how much I love encouraging others to have an adventure too. Ellie was a virgin wild camper and was a tad nervous. But with the power of tribe and some reassurance we wouldn’t die, she embraced it and was the best wild camping companion ever.

She doesn’t however, have a clue how to put up a tent when drunk. 😂

It reminded me of the reason that I love coaching people so much too. Just a few questions and they can be off, down a new pathway they have chosen. A lady I coach at a big automotive company (senior role, legendary person) said to me this week that she has ‘started to find the tools she needs, to do the things that she wants to do’. And that’s it in a nutshell; arm yourself with some basic tools, know what it is you want to do and have a go. Get a tribe on your side and it’s even better! It was such a rewarding thing to hear when you are finding your own path too.

That conversation, with that amazing lady spurred me on to think about how I could encourage and support more women to have a go at being adventurous and find their own path in in life at the same time. I may well need to partner up with my other half to create a magical mountain bike and life coaching weekend for adventurous ladies or ‘want to be adventurous’ ladies…. I feel another deadline being set soon!

I am now sat here after an early morning salt water swim with friends, a trip to Aldi to do shopping (it’s not all glam is it?) and a difficult phone call with my lovely Dad who has Alzheimer’s (another story altogether!) very much looking forward to my son coming back from his Dad’s tomorrow.

I am giving myself a moment to breathe, celebrate finishing the draft of ‘The book’ and plan which direction to go in next with it. Edit, self publish, traditional publishing, illustrate myself, illustrator? It was ironic that I walked over this amazing old marker on the pathway on my way here, kind of telling me to think about direction and also reminding me that there’s no rush. People have been choosing new directions for millenia and that might just be how long it takes for me to decide what to do with the book next.

Things I have loved: Deadlines, SUP, bivvying, prosecco, burgers on foldaway bbqs, sound of rain on the tarp, sea swims, river swims, writing and knowing myself.

Things I have loved less: Too many early mornings, dad being poorly, hangovers, slugs on bivvy bags.

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