Top 100 Things I’ve Done – #13

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I don’t write nearly as much as I enjoy it. Nowadays, most of my writing gets done while I’m travelling, since at that time I have no distractions. I plan to take a laptop with me on my year long world journey. I’ll be sure to write plenty then.

I don’t write nearly as well as I believe I can either. Most of the writing I do is on this website, which I basically consider free writing. Despite the emailed corrections from my Mom, I hardly ever check grammar or spelling.

One of the best ways I’ve found to organize my thoughts and feelings is writing. Sometimes my mind winds in so many directions, I don’t even know what I’m thinking until I use a keyboard to sort it all out. Through writing in short bursts on my website, I’ve found it to be one of my favorite things to do. I seem to get recognition for my photography and writing more than anything else I do, which I won’t deny helps make it enjoyable.

One of the best examples of this was having a story I wrote published by Lonely Planet. I have always admired Lonely Planet and everything they produce. A few years ago, I was posting some of my writings about my backpacking trip in Italy on their message board. I called the story “Waking up to Winter“. One day I got an email from an editor at their main office in Australia. She had been reading my postings and asked if I would allow them to print it in an upcoming book. Of course I agreed.

My story ended up being the longest and featured story in Lonely Planet’s first anthology of short stories called “Rite of Passage: Tales of Backpacking ‘Round Europe“. It keeps me motivated to write when I go into bookstores all over the country and I see my name and writing on the back cover of a book by my favorite publisher.

If I can move people to think about the world, about themselves, about life…If I can communicate the way things make me feel through pictures or words…I feel like I’m giving something back. I have this desire to give back and slowly I’m coming to believe that writing and photography may be the best ways for me to do it.

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