|Dumêlang, Mholweni, Sawubona, Hello!
👉 If you’d like to enjoy a copy of My Midsummer Morning on publication day, the deadline for ordering it is this Friday. Please buy a book and give it to a friend. You can order it on my website, Amazon UK, Amazon US, or Worldwide (with free delivery) in hardback, Kindle or Audible format.
👉 I am regularly grateful that when I cycled round the world there was no expectation to share the experience via social media every day, nor did I have any interest in filming it. However I did really enjoy these confessions of an amateur bikepacker which brought back many happy memories for me.
👉 ‘The Rough-Stuff Fellowship’ is the oldest off-road cycling club in the world and I LOVE its photography archive. They’re also publishing a beautiful book.
👉 Two books I really enjoy: Atlas Obscura, ‘a guide to the world’s strange and wondrous side’ (also on Instagram) and Atlas Obscura for Kids.
👉 You can Ask Me Anything to answer in this newsletter here. Here’s today’s…
- At what time do you write? How do you stay focused? Are there optimal conditions for your writing? I find the best time to write is first thing in the morning before urgent but not important tasks crowd into my mind. If I can blast out four hours of good writing in a day I count that as a triumph. Danielle Steel would disagree. But I also write at all sorts of other random times – often in the gym, on trains, straight out of the shower – and I use notebooks and the Simplenote app to gather those thoughts. When I’m writing I stay focussed by blocking the internet using Freedom. I drink lots of tea and coffee so everytime I have to go out of my shed for a pee I do 10 pull ups on a tree to burn up some excess energy, then I get back to it. I use a standing desk, partly as it’s much kinder to my back, and partly because I’m too hyperactive to sit down all day. The optimal condition for writing is right now. No excuses, just write.
- Can you recommend a good online bikepacking forum that I could check out? Not really, but I’m sure that a reader will be able to let me know and I’ll pass it on…
- What do you think are the best ways for an old gal like me (60) to get in shape for longer hikes besides just walking/hiking? I’m pretty sure the answer is ‘walking and hiking’! Do a mixture of long walks and fast walks. Yoga or pilates will help your general strength and recovery ability. Diet is at least as important as exercise. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And weight-training is something everyone should do some of, regardless of age. If you can bear going to a gym, the 5×5 app is great for getting started.
- Will the Kindle version of your new book be available in the USA?Yes. I don’t know why it is not there already. I will chase Harper Collins. Thank you for asking! 😉
👋 Hello to people reading this newsletter in interesting parts of the world, like watching Little League practice in California or walking the length of Sri Lanka. Let me know where you are!
Bye for now!