I now walk into the wild . . . . (John Krakauer)


John Krakauer was a mountaineer and writer who explored the impulse that leads people to outdoor adventure. His Goodreads quote of the day caught my imagination. My thoughts flew out before me. Not that I want an outdoor adventure, though it might be good for me. It was because these words perfectly expressed what I think about writing.

The word wild digs down deep into my thoughts – wild child, wild one, wild and woolly, a wild, wild ride.

An interesting word, it weaves into a sentence in different ways.

  • As an adjective – not domesticated or cultivated
  • As an adverb – in an uncontrolled manner
  • Noun – a natural area, an uncultivated or uninhabited region
  • Synonyms, for an adjective – savage, mad, feral. For a noun – wilderness, waste

The writing was savage. I wrote, madly out of control.  My writing went off into the wilderness, a strange and feral land.

I block out a scene, write a piece of dialogue, consider an action sequence, peek inside a character’s thoughts and motivations. I am on that path into the wild. I have no idea where it will take me.

Writing takes me over. I breathe it, eat it, and sleep with it. There is no getting away. I go out for a walk, talk on the phone to family and friends, tune into a TV show or radio broadcast, spend countless hours maintaining my social media platform, talk with my husband. None of these essential life diversions can actually get me away from the story. The wild territory of the writing is still there, always playing out just below the surface of whatever I’m doing. I’m hooked, the story has a hold on me, and I can’t shake it. It’s an uncultivated region that only I can plough and plant and harvest. I must inhabit it, live and breathe life into the landscape.

Writing is a savage endeavour. Writing exhausts me, it invigorates me, it drives me crazy, and it fulfills me – a dichotomous activity that personifies the word oxymoron. Writing brings order into the wild.

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7 comments on “I now walk into the wild . . . . (John Krakauer)

  1. I am right with you on that one….in the wild of it myself at the moment. Happy writing!

  2. As spiritual companions, my peer supervision group call ourselves “The Wild Women”, for precisely these reasons. It’s wild territory, either as writer or soul explorer, or mystic. Or all of the above! Great post.

  3. mysticcooking says:

    What a great way to describe it! Beautiful post! 🙂 I like Krakauer’s books, too – you can really feel the intensity behind his words.

  4. Gwen says:

    Fantastic post – I think you’ve distilled the essence of being a writer.
    By the way – the photos you post are absolutely breathtaking.

  5. Gemma Hawdon says:

    I loved this post Francis. You’re writing is captivating (and I agree with Gwen, your photos also). I’m feeling wild today!

  6. Angela Grant says:

    Hi Francis, Your post was indeed wildly savage. :). I learned about the word wild in a very unique way. Thanks

    • Thanks Angela, and Gwen, Gemma, Marella, Susan, and my pals at Mystic Cooking – doing dragon cuisine as only they can 🙂 It is fun and scary to take a walk on the wild side – but what else can we writers do?

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