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I'm going to cycle round Britain and write a book about it. Support me and I'll share the "live" online manuscript with you.
I'm going to cycle round Scotland and write a book about it. Support me and I'll share the "live" online manuscript with you.
I'm going to cycle round Scotland and write a book about it. Support me and I'll share the "live" online manuscript with you.
25 backers pledged £695 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Most travel books are written after the event, in a comfortable home. What’s missing is a book that lets you observe the writing process, as the journey is taking place.

I invite you to become part of my next book -- Writing on a Bike: Observations from a dis-United Kingdom -- a book I will write as I cycle around Britain.

(Even though I hit my funding target in just 3 days I'd be really grateful for any more pledges as I'm going to need every penny I can get; each pledge will keep me cycling and writing for a bit longer. It's also a cool way to keep people updated about what I'm up to. I love writing short updates from here to my new new Kickstarter friends).

Writing on a Bike will be written every day -- in my tent, in the wilds or maybe in a public library or cafe. I will spend up to 4 hours a day describing how I feel, what I'm reading, who I met and where I'm at.

I will set up an online document, on Google Docs, which I will update whenever I have internet access. Sometimes I will write "live" and you will be able to see a travel book being written. 

Anyone who pledges £10 or over will have exclusive access to this book and you'll be able to add feedback and comments. I might even include some of your comments in the story.

My approach is irreverent, self critical and wry. Kevin Sullivan, a journalist who read my first travel book, 9 Months in Tibet, wrote “Wolfe-Murray’s trick is to deliver stunningly unusual observations deadpan." You can also see my writing style on my blog

As soon as I hit the road I will start writing the book. 

Estimated take-off date: August 5th 2016.
Starting location: Belladrum Rock Festival, Inverness, the Highlands, Scotland

How did this Project Come About?

I have wanted to write more books over the last 25 years but got distracted by journalism, aid work and some pretty cool projects in Eastern Europe.

My need to write has been irrepressible and if you click on my portfolio you'll see the two books I wrote (in the 1990s) as well as blog articles on travel, politics and addiction. 

My latest book, 9 Months in Tibet, got me back into writing. I first had the idea in 1989 but 25 years passed before the final draft was ready. When I found a publisher and planned this bike trip I felt a surge of motivation to encourage people to get into independent travel (I remember overcoming my own fear of travel so vividly).

9 Months in Tibet, is being published by Scotland Street Press in August 2016. Alexander McCall Smith, who wrote the foreword, said it's a "thoroughly engrossing tale". Charles Ramble, professor of Tibetan Studies at the Sorbonne, said it is "a highly unlikely but irresistible combination of Robert Byron and Hunter S. Thompson." 

I Need Your Support to Get Going

My request for support is based on the need for some equipment, including camping gear, a small laptop and some bike spares. I already have a touring bike but just need a few bits and bobs to get going.

I'm offering various "rewards" for all those who support me. You will also have my undying gratitude -- your support will have helped me find a new way to travel and write.

If I raise more than requested here it will keep me on the road for a bit longer. 

Will you join me on this journey?

www.wolfemurray.com

Risks and challenges

Kickstarter require me to write about the "risks and challenges...What unique challenges might you face after your project is successfully funded? How would you tackle them?"

When I used to write funding proposals for aid agencies this was the most boring part, but here I'll try to jazz it up a bit.

This project is ready to go (I'm ready to go) and I have the full support of my publisher. No other approvals are needed.

What Could Possibly go Wrong? (and, if it does, how will I deal with it?)

1. BREXIT-INDUCED BORDER CHAOS DELAYS BOOK DELIVERY:
My travel book (9 Months in Tibet) is being printed in Poland and shipped to Scotland at the end of July 2016. It is possible that Calais is hit by chaos or strikes and our truck is delayed. If this happens my kickstarter sponsors will get the book a bit later, in September rather than August.

2. WIMP OUT:
I haven't done a bike tour of this length before (I'm planning to ride for 3 months) and it is possible that I run out of energy and have to give up. This is unlikely as I have relevant experiences (I rode a horse across Tibet and trekked across Serbia) and know that the more I get into this type of journey the fitter I become. And even if I did wimp out I would write about what happened and have a lot of fun describing my own weaknesses -- resulting in a slightly different type of travel book.

3. RUN OUT OF MONEY
I will be earning money on the road by selling copies of 9 Months in Tibet and it is possible that I fail to sell enough to sustain myself. However, I have experience of running out of cash in many parts of the world (including Tibet) and each time I have found a suitable way to make a buck. I'm confident that I will find ways to sustain myself.

4. GET RUN DOWN:
There is always a risk of getting run down by a car or truck on the road. Fortunately I have a lot of cycling experience, know how to avoid dangerous moments and always have rear lights flashing. Equally importantly, I have over 30 years driving experience and this enables me to understand and predict the behaviour of drivers. This is the key factor to avoiding accidents. If I do end up in hospital and am not in a coma, I will keep writing my observations -- a few chapters about being in a hospital could be quite interesting.

5. IT'S SO GOOD I WON'T WANT TO STOP
I'm planning to ride for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 3 months. Then I will go back to Liverpool where my base and partner is. But maybe I will like this nomadic lifestyle so much, and I will churn out books really fast, make a good living by selling them and will never want to go home again. I'm not really sure what I'll do if this happens.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £2 or more About $2.64

    Thank You

    This level is aimed at people who like the idea of what I'm doing and want to send a gesture of support. I will send you a personal email and regular updates from my blog.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Join In

    Anyone who donates £10 or more will be given exclusive access to the online document with my next book -- Writing on a Bike: Observations from a dis-United Kingdom.

    I will also send you updates from my blog.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $33

    Seeing is Believing

    Anyone who donates £25 (or more) will get five things from me:

    1. A signed/dedicated copy of my brand new book -- 9 Months in Tibet. I will cover the shipping costs (in UK).

    2. Exclusive access to my next book -- Writing on a Bike -- as it's being written, on an online/shared document.

    3. A handwritten postcard from the Highlands of Scotland, with a wee story from that day.

    4. A credit in my next book: Writing on a Bike: Observations from a dis-United Kingdom.

    5. (Optional): Updates from my blog.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $66

    Share the Experience

    Anyone who gives £50 or more will get all of the above reward.

    In addition, I will send you a GIFT WRAPPED copy of 9 Months in Tibet, dedicated it to someone special, and posted with a postcard from Scotland.

    N.B.
    9 Months in Tibet is an ideal gift for anyone who wants to get into independent travel but doesn't know how to start.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £180 or more About $238

    Tell Your Story

    Anyone taking the plunge and donating £180 or more will get all of the above-described rewards (2 copies of 9 Months in Tibet, exclusive access to my next book and a postcard from Scotland).

    In addition, I will write an article on a subject of your choosing. This could be about a great journey, a political point of view, an insight into your work or passion -- or maybe a short family history.

    Once I get your approval for the article I will offer it for publication wherever you like -- your organisations blog/website -- and can even pitch it to the media (but not guarantee its publication there).

    With your approval, I will publish the article on my blog (which I can guarantee) and will pitch it to Huffington Post, UK edition.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £450 or more About $595

    Learn How it's Done

    This level of donation takes you to a whole new level.

    Only one person can make this pledge. They will get all the above-described rewards (2 copies of 9 Months in Tibet, exclusive access to my next book, a postcard from Scotland and an article).

    In addition, this top sponsor will get an exclusive one-day seminar delivered at any location in the UK.

    The seminar will cover all, or some, of the following topics: discovering independent travel; overcoming the fear of travel; how to adapt to foreign cultures; how to get work abroad; learning languages fast; how to write a book, an article, a diary -- or for a website.

    In addition, I will read from 9 Months in Tibet and Writing on a Bike: Observations from a dis-United Kingdom -- and give feedback on any travel writing by the sponsor.

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Funding period

- (14 days)