Just as with the first book, the first thing that I needed to do requires nothing more than a bit of patience and a lot of copying and I have spent several hours today doing just that. I am conscious of not just publishing a blog. If you want to read the blog you can trawl through the 70,488 words that I wrote during the cycle from Greece to Portugal on this website. Should you choose to do so I’ve even provided you with a handy index of the posts. The book will be a different beast altogether; much more reflective, more informative, more entertaining and even perhaps at times educational and instructional (although not too instructional; it’s not my style). I want you to read a book, not a blog and I’m proud to say that if you ploughed through ‘Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie‘ you did just that. Very little of what was written at the time of the cycle survived to be published in the book. On the odd occasion when I did quote directly from what had been written on the blog I tried to make it abundantly clear that I was doing so. The best example of this was a post entitled 24 Hour Eating At Pizza Hut which seemed so popular at the time that I thought I better not fiddle with it and ruin the effect.
The only reason I know that I did type out 70,488 words between Cape Sounio in Greece and Cape St. Vincent in Portugal is because I’ve finished my copying job and they are awaiting their transformation into another book. It’s astonishing to think that one of my fingers hit the screen of either my mini iPad or my iPhone a total of 376,933 (at the very least) during the writing of the blog. 70,000 of those taps were merely to place a gap between the words! My word document as it stands is summarised in the box shown on the right. Below is what it looks like on my computer although I suggest you don’t reach for the magnifying glass just yet…
The job of writing the book will start at the beginning of November. I need a couple of months for the rose-coloured spectacles to descend upon the bridge of my nose in order that I can write something of quality and hopefully warmth and wit.
Something else that the mundane process of copying the blog posts into a Word document has allowed me to do is create a Wordle. Below is the top 100 word Wordle for the 70,488 words I wrote during the cycle. Wordle’s insistence upon ignoring the apostrophe creates some interesting nonsense words (but I’m sure you can guess what they were originally for example ‘wasn’ should be ‘wasn’t’ etc…). I am delighted that ‘campsite’ seems slightly larger than ‘hotel’ and also that ‘reggie’ squeezes into the top 100. I did lots of things ‘one’ time, sometimes ‘two’ times and occasionally ‘three’ times. The only country in the Wordle is ‘Greece’ and that does intrigue me. Perhaps I kept reminiscing about the place long after I had cycled on… Your own comments are welcome.
It’s interesting to compare this Wordle with the one I created back in 2010 with the 38,000 words in the blog posts about cycling along the Eurovelo 5. You can see it here. Here’s another that I made having written 90,000 of the eventual 110,000 of ‘Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie’.
what do you like more, writing or cycling?
The easy answer would be that I like both but I actually prefer both as well (if that makes sense). I prefer the cycling when I’m on the bike in some far flung country – the writing at the end of the day can, occasionally be a bit of a drag – but when I’m back home and have sat down with a glass of wine with the intention of knocking off a couple of chapters of the book, there is no way you would drag me out on the bike! Good question!
Very similar, actually!