In Pursuit of Achievement
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
Sharing the experiences Scott and I have had chasing game through the medium of the written word has given me a different perspective on the world of hunting. It has reiterated not only that what we’ve accomplished (and failed to accomplish) in the backcountry was worthwhile, but that telling our tale to others can bring real value and insight to their own goals and adventures.
I’ve spoken at length about the fact that this book was originally written for ourselves and our family. Yet, as the story matured and took on a life of its own, I found that I was writing for a different reason. I write now to inspire not only others, but myself. I always knew that one day I would look back and be proud of doing things outside the normal, droll pursuits of every day life. But the idea of that pales in comparison to the reality. We are only given so much time on earth to accomplish so much, and yet we often do the bare minimum. We are all guilty of this at certain times in our lives, but pushing through those moments to continue stretching your comfort zone entices life to flourish.
I write for you.
I write for me.
I write to inspire adventure, accomplishment, and the engagement of life.
I’ve taken Old Ben’s words from my opening quote to heart. The idea of this book has been rattling around in the back of my mind for years, just waiting for our experiences and adventures to mold enough material worth visiting on the literary platform.
14 years ago I took a few extra classes during the summer leading into my senior year at Western Washington University. Being an English Major, (and now a bonafide, published author) you might think that I had taken a litany of classes on writing.
You would be wrong. I was a few 400 level classes and an any English elective away from having met the requirements for my major. Instead of focusing on writing, I took classes that focused on the historical aspects of American Literature and how it spoke to relevant events of the time. My hours were instead spent reading Thoreau and Hawthorne. Writing was a means to an end, whipping out a paper Sunday evening as I battled through a hangover. As I perused the class lists heading into that summer, I noticed a creative writing course was listed. It seemed dramatically more interesting (and let’s be honest, easier) than some of the other options, and so I signed up with every intention of skating through while I focused on more interesting subjects such as cheap beer and women.
What I was not expecting was how much I actually enjoyed that class, though I always felt like a fish out of water. There were some talented writers, individuals who had obviously been working on writing while I was doing keg stands, and the subjects I wrote about didn’t compute with their thought process. In truth, I got the sense that these writers were competing amongst themselves as to whom was the most cerebral of beings. I was looked down on as a bit of the country bumpkin who wrote of hunting instead of chasing the meaning of life. Ironically, sometimes I think I was far closer to achieving that task than they were. While they would write of more esoteric (yet ultimately safe) topics, I would talk of the shimmering colors of a pheasant as it exploded into the filtered morning sun, dodging shadows from the Russian Olive trees.
My teacher tried to give me the benefit of the doubt, but I could tell his non hunting mindset struggled to comprehend the feelings I tried to portray. He didn’t have a perspective to view the lens of my writing from, and so we struggled to communicate about the experiences of my chosen topics.
Despite my love for writing, and ultimately that class, I left a lot on the table. I also wasn’t the same writer then as I am today. I have a hypothesis that most good writers experience overwhelming emotional trauma at some point in their life. That’s not to say that I am a poor, damaged, soul (at least as much as anyone), but instead, I like to think that I was able to acquire the necessary experience to help my writing excel.
All good writing is based in emotion. The story must have depth and purpose, and the reader must be engaged enough to care. Just as I am unable to write with conviction about the life of a dog from their perspective, if one hasn’t experienced the full spectrum of emotion, then their writing can never fully encompass the varying ranges dynamic writing requires.
I don’t look back at that creative writing class with frustration, but instead as just another step along the journey that has led me here, to this day. Despite my struggles, I learned a lot from both the teacher and my imperious peers.
Here we sit, on the precipice of releasing my work to the world. I can only hope it acts like my pheasant, exploding out into the light.
It’s book release day!
I sincerely hope you give my book a shot, it’s what I wrote it for after all. But, if you enjoy living here in my blog, that’s just fine too. We’ve got a whole season of experiences waiting, and I’m on pins and needles to continue filling these pages with tales of our exploits.
Thanks for reading, now head out there and make some bad decisions!
Team Bad Decision is now available to purchase using the links at the top of this page and in the menu. The paperback version is 15.99 (plus tax and shipping), while the eBook version can be purchased from a variety of places (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple) for $9.99 also from the links above.
REVIEWS: As a new author, Amazon reviews are a critical to my success. If you enjoyed my book, please leave an honest review!
NOTE: The paperback copies will be arriving sometime next week as we fell a few days behind the print schedule, but boxes are prepped and ready to head out the door the moment the books come in.