The Struggle Of An Adventure Writer

“Success” is not actually attaining the goal of experiencing everything you want to, but rather never losing the desire to achieve such a feat.

Do you ever think about when all those travelers, explorers, and adventurers actually sit down and document their experiences? It’s not an easy task. In addition to planning their trips, organizing gear and figuring out the logistics of it all, they also have to write it out. If you’re a writer, you know how time-consuming that process alone is. We see their photos on social media and notice they link to their writing, but because we’re mostly removed from their experiences, we don’t see the struggles and sacrifices made to share with us.

My job, though it kept me busy, was an adventure in and of itself.
My job, though it kept me busy, was an adventure in and of itself.

It’s most certainly evident that I’ve fallen victim to some of those struggles. I haven’t published a blog post since April 25th. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing — it just means I haven’t finished anything. A small part of that is procrastination. A larger part is perfectionism. The biggest part is the balance. When do I write? I work. I volunteer. I’ve been making an attempt socialize a small amount to meet more of the locals. And the rest of the time I’m out exploring, doing what I love — hiking, cycling, camping, backpacking and bikepacking,¬†with a little bit of paddleboarding in there as well. Then in the off-season between jobs, I’m likely doing a bit of traveling before I come back to the Valley and start all over again. I take photos and I post them. I get incredible experiences, which feed into stories to share and ideas to write about, but I rarely sit down and document them like I need to. I am sorry for that. My goal for the rest of this year is to be much more vigilant in the consistency of blog posts.

If you’re also an adventurer, explorer, traveler and writer/blogger, you might find this relatable. There are thousands, if not millions, of adventure blogs out there. Some are extremely popular and even generate some income. But if you think money motivates and can “cure” the struggle, that’s far from the truth. Financial compensation is only a temporary inspirator and motivator.

This is how most people envision the life of an adventure writer.... Hammocking at Buffalo Lake near Bechler Meadows, Yellowstone National Park
This is how most people envision the life of an adventure writer….
Hammocking at Buffalo Lake near Bechler Meadows, Yellowstone National Park

When one is an adventure writer, how do you balance all of life’s responsibilities in addition to a career, adventures and explorations, and then also writing? That’s a lot to throw on the list. But as any writer knows, it’ll only happen if you want it to happen. You have to make the time and commit. Otherwise, your blog or book is just thrown into a pile of millions, maybe billions, of unfinished projects that so many other humans on this earth have once committed to and failed to complete.

The conflict between making money and adventuring and traveling has been a challenge more than ever for me lately. With unemployment lurking over me and the uncertainty of what kind of job I’ll be able to get, it’s been difficult to make definite plans for travel. Though, I have managed to figure one out, despite uncertainties.

Volunteering takes time of of writing too... but it's some of the most inspirational work I get to do.
Volunteering takes time out of writing too… but it’s some of the most inspirational work I get to do.

The key is to stay inspired. Inspiration feeds into optimism and positivity. Positivity generates an addictive and contagious energy. It’s as if there is an ora around you and others can see that. This then inspires your friends, coworkers, family and even complete strangers in their own personal journey whatever that may be. Some may even reach back out to you to return the favor for the “gift” you gave them. That favor might be a recommendation for a job or a place to stay next time you’re passing through.

So what inspires you? It’s that inspiration that will keep you going. If it’s adventures, keep pursuing them! Even microadventures — a quick hike, mountain bike ride, or overnight car camping. And there are of course always places to make these happen. If you find yourself in a place physically or mentally where there is just no inspiration, something needs to change. But then the comfort zone… that usually halts change pretty quickly. Let me share with you a thought I had while hiking the full Teton Range south to north this fall:

The comfort zone is where adventure goes to die.

If adventure inspires you, then go for it. If the comfort zone is what’s stopping you, step out of it.

This might seem off-topic slightly from the overall premise of the struggle of an adventure writer, but it’s to give you an idea what “we’re” constantly battling… finding that balance between inspiration and productivity. The more we’re inspired, the more productive we can be.

I have had so many experiences this year that I’m looking forward to writing about and sharing with you all! That also inspires me — to not let them slip through the cracks¬†but to share them.

What keeps you pushing through the struggles of an adventurous life? Leave a comment or shoot me a line about some of your recent accomplishments and how you’ve overcome life’s pressures in pursuing new travels and explorations!

Feature Image: A steep hike-a-bike, one of many to come during a 70-mile solo bikepacking trip in the Big Hole Mountains of Teton Valley, Idaho this past summer of 2016.

Aaron Written by:

Advocate for wildlife, land, bicycling, curiosity and deep thinking | Nebraskan currently based in the Tetons