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I wrote the last line of my first book, Torch, and then spent an hour crying while lying on a cool tile floor in a house on a hot Brazilian island. After I finished my second book, Wild, I walked alone for miles under a clear blue sky on an empty road in the Oregon Outback. I sat bundled in my coat on a cold patio at midnight staring up at the endless December stars after completing my third book, Tiny Beautiful Things. There are only a handful of other days in my life--my wedding, the births of my children--that I remember as vividly as those solitary days on which I finished my books. The settings and situations were different, but the feeling was the same: an overwhelming mix of joy and gratitude, humility and relief, pride and wonder. After much labor, I'd made this thing. A book. Though it wasn't technically that yet.
The real book came later--after more work, but this time it involved various others, including agents, publishers, editors, designers, and publicists, all of whose jobs are necessary but sometimes indecipherable to me. They're the ones who transformed the thousands of words I'd privately and carefully conjured into something that could be shared with other people. "I wrote this!" I exclaimed in amazement when I first held each actual, physical book in my hands. I wasn't amazed that it existed; I was amazed by what its existence meant: that it no longer belonged to me.
Two months before Wild was published I stood on a Mexican beach at sunset with my family assisting dozens of baby turtles on their stumbling journey across the sand, then watching as they disappeared into the sea. The junction between writer and author is a bit like that. In one role total vigilance is necessary; in the other, there's nothing to do but hope for the best. A book, like those newborn turtles, will ride whatever wave takes it.
It's deeply rewarding to me when I learn that something I wrote moved or inspired or entertained someone; and it's crushing to hear that my writing bored or annoyed or enraged another. But an author has to stand back from both the praise and the criticism once a book is out in the world. The story I chose to write in Wild for no other reason than I felt driven to belongs to those who read it, not me. And yet I'll never forget what it once was, long before I could even imagine how gloriously it would someday be swept away from me.
A little long read but since I live in Oregon it was interesting when she got to Oregon & experienced seeing the beautiful sights I experienced for the 1st time long ago. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by B evie
I really didn't have any expectations when I started this book. But just as Into the Wild and Eat, Pray, Love changed my life, this book has found a way to wedge itself into my... Read morePublished 9 hours ago by Amanda Richardson
The story line had lots of potential. However, I found the writing style poor and difficult to get through at times. Read morePublished 13 hours ago by Loving life!
Wild was a fascinating true life story. Cheryl Strated is an excellent writer, she paints an amazing picture of an adventure/journey that she took in her late 20'S. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by Jane B.
Brave as only the ignorant can be and which, perhaps is the basis for most courage with a naivety that is breath taking this young woman trekked and trudged on a journey of... Read morePublished 19 hours ago by Rebeldog109
As someone who plans to one day do a distance hike and has read a few other memoirs about women hiking solo, this one is definitely a favorite.Published 1 day ago by C.Pure