Friday, 28 August 2009

When not to write a book

I just got back from six days of hiking across England on the Hadrian's Wall National Trail. I'll be blogging about it on Gadling starting Sept. 2, so I won't go into it here, but I thought it was interesting that a few fellow writers suggested I write a book about it. I wasn't enthused by the idea.

While at 84 miles it's the longest hike I've done in a while, that's not in itself impressive enough to carry a book. If I'd walked from Cairo to Capetown, that would be book material. Of course, the trail does offer more--beautiful scenery and lots of history--but the six days I spent walking it didn't give me enough time to delve enough into it enough to get enough material for a book. I'd have spend a few months up there.

Of course, some people have done exactly that. There are a couple of accounts of walking Hadrian's Wall, written by locals who have lived near the wall all their lives and are steeped in the local history and culture. My trek got me enough to write a series of features for Gadling and an article for British Heritage, but that's all I'm going for. As an author, you have to pick your battles.

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