Writer’s Log, 17/1/13: The Lone Paddler

It’s been over a month since my last ‘Writer’s Log’ entry. Partly that’s because I’ve been experimenting with other methods to keep my social media profile active. Also I began a private book journal this year. Perhaps that pushed the public one to the background. However, a friend reminded me this week that it’s been a while since I’ve done a Writer’s Log. So here goes…

The topic of today’s musing is the loneliness of being a book author. Have you noticed my new Facebook Timeline cover photo? I added it just after the new year began. I took that photo in December, on a beautiful summer evening here in Wellington, New Zealand. The photo was snapped on the Petone Foreshore and shows a lone paddler making his way across the calm blue waters of the harbour. In the background are the hills of Wellington city (on the right, as you look at the picture) and Matiu/Somes Island (a wildlife sanctuary, on the left).

I like that photo for several reasons. First, it reminds me that it was a gorgeous, balmy summer evening. Second, I enjoy the harmony of the different shades of blues in the photo. Third, the lone paddler is relaxed, but determined, and he’s making steady progress in the rays of the golden sun. All of that resonates with me.

Admittedly, you can hardly see the man in that photo – some might say it’s a stick figure on the horizon. Even so, I like to think the photo shows a man who is geniunely enjoying himself. He’s paddling at his own pace, stroking through the still blue sea in a straight line, to a destination of his choosing. It takes effort and he’s not quite sure if he’ll make it to the shore before his arms give out, but he’s not turning back. The sun keeps him warm and he’s absorbed with the paddling.

Writing a book is a bit like that, or at least that’s how I picture it. Over the past month I’ve been making solid progress: iterating on my outline, setting up interviews, researching topics, reading my favorite authors for inspiration and guidance, making copious notes. It’s been a relaxing time too, as I wanted to enjoy the summer and re-charge my batteries.

Writing a book is a lonely business, so the paddler reminds me of that too. It’s something I wanted though, after a decade of managing a virtual company of up to 20 people. I like working for myself – and by myself – again. After all, I started out as a lone blogger, back in 2003. So in a way it feels like coming full circle, only with a different challenge now: writing a book, instead of a blog.

This particular lone paddler will be making his way across the Pacific Ocean in less than two weeks, to attend a conference and interview various people in Silicon Valley and beyond for his book. Then it’s back to the blue sea of Petone again, to write.

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