The Story Continues...

...but it's time for a change.

*I originally published this post focusing more on the motivation of publishing a book with new and interesting content. While that remains true, I decided to be more honest and open about my motivations. Anyone who's read along with me this far deserves a full explanation.*

With the end goal of publishing a book, I've decided that it's time to stop releasing each new chapter for free online and move into book-writing mode in a more private setting. Offering my personal writings to the open internet has been a challenge for me. I try to be as open and honest about my trek as I can, highlighting both my triumphs and my shortcomings, which leaves a guy in a pretty vulnerable position to those who would like to take advantage.

Something I've learned about the internet: there's an incredible number of people out there, hiding behind the anonymity of the web, whose only fun comes from trying to tear others down.

Something I've learned about me: I don't handle it well.

At least not well enough to continue to focus on writing the best possible account of my trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. I've found myself spending days commenting back and forth on social media and through private messages and emails with people who aren't interested in civil discourse, only in trying to sink cheap daggers into me and my work. These internet "trolls" know a ton about me, while I know nothing about them, not even who they are most of the time.

So I find myself writing my blogs and erasing things. Important things. Vulnerable things. I have a persistent thought of, 'No, don't put that in there. Someone is going to jump on it.'

That's not okay. My writing deserves more than that. My future book deserves more than that. My future readers deserve better.

So my future blog posts won't be available for free on the open internet. There are real downsides, such as limiting the reach of my blogs and my future book, while disappointing those readers who have enjoyed my blogs so far. But a barrier is needed between the open web and my writings.

So that's where Patreon comes in.

I'll continue writing my blogs and publishing them every week in the 'Patreon Blog' section of Hikerbeta, but it'll require a password to access. For a small donation (as little as $1 per month) through Patreon, you can continue reading along as I publish each chapter. There's higher tiers where you can pledge more support each month, each tier with greater rewards tied to them if that's something you'd like to do. Those rewards range from advanced copies of my future book, to Skype sessions, even backpacking trips together.

The reality is, $1 pledges aren't going to make me much money, but even just that minimum small fee will put a barrier between those who actually support me and want to read my blogs, and those whose only goal in reading my blog is to capitalize on attacking my personal writings.

All of my blog covering from the Mexican border through half of the Sierra will remain free and open for everyone online to learn from and (hopefully) enjoy. I'm going to continue working on my book in the blog format in the "Patreon Blog" section of my website. For those who would like to continue reading, rather than waiting for the book, all it takes is any contribution on Patreon.

Even the smallest amount helps to keep me motivated to complete what I hope to be one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, all while building a more personal relationship with those readers who support my work. Look at your pledge as buying me a coffee to keep me motivated or a beer for finishing the trail!

And although support is great, not supporting me on Patreon is also not an issue. If you've been reading along so far and would rather not (or can't) financially support my work through the writing process, I hope you've enjoyed my blog this far and look forward to eventually reading the book! There's certainly other ways to support me if you'd like to. Share my blog with friends and family, watch my videos, and shop for backpacking gear through my "Gear" section of my website. It all helps out my mission of bringing a great book about the Pacific Crest Trail to the printer.

I couldn't have gotten here without everyone supporting me along the way, so thank you to everyone who's reading this. It means a lot to me that you've been following along this far.


Edit:

Several readers have contacted me, asking if there was a one-time payment option, for those who would like to support me and possibly pre-order a book, but who would rather not use Patreon to do so. Here's the options I sent to them, in case a one-time payment is something you'd be more comfortable with.

A one-time payment of $20 through Paypal (or Venmo, if you prefer) for access to all blogs, past and future, or

A one-time payment of $30 through Paypal or Venmo for:

  • Access to all blogs, past and future.

  • A digital (e-book) copy of my book, once it's complete.

A one-time payment of $40 through Paypal or Venmo for:

  • Access to all blogs, past and future.

  • A digital (e-book) copy of my book, once it's complete.

  • A personalized copy of my book when it's published (which basically means I'll write all over the inside covers before I send it your way).

To send through Paypal, use this email: daniel.winsor86@gmail.com

To send through Venmo, use my handle, @Hikerbeta

If you'd like to support me this way, just send me an email to let me know when you send the payment and I'll let you know when I see it. That'll help with clear communications, but also so we have a clear record of the transaction that I can hold onto for that wonderful day when I start shipping books out!