Why I’m Looking Forward To Tomorrow (And Why I’m Scared Shitless)

Tomorrow morning at 9am, I’ll press a button and launch Janapar to the world.

A thousand stories

I do not expect a historical upheaval of society to take place when I do. Nevertheless, the moment will have enormous personal significance:

  • I will finally be sharing this story in its completeness,
  • It will draw a line beneath a process now more than six years long,
  • It will represent the release of my very close friend James’ debut feature-length documentary (congratulations!),
  • I will be able to put three hundred hours of raw footage to bed, content that they have served their purpose,
  • I will be able to consider myself a self-employed creative person rather than a wanderer who occasionally programs websites,
  • I will get to play at ‘post offices’ for a while,
  • I will be able to go outside (finally),
  • I will get to see my home country whilst travelling with the project,
  • I will finally be allowed to stop thinking about myself and my bloody ‘story’ the whole time (by far the most exciting prospect).

But putting my head above the parapet like this is a double edged sword. I am particularly not looking forward to:

  • Having my personal life up for public scrutiny,
  • Discovering that you cannot please everyone,
  • Discovering that those who cannot be pleased are liable to be quite vocal about it (this is already happening),
  • Being mis-quoted and mis-represented in the press (this is already happening),
  • Losing control over my time at the behest of others’ demands,
  • Being forced to speak in front of audiences (cringe),
  • Being destructively criticised about what I have said or done in the past,
  • Realising that I have no time to plan my next trip.

I know it’s been a long wait. But when I click the button tomorrow morning, I will be hoping that the first list will far outweigh the second.

Have you registered for a discount code yet? There are 24 hours left to do so. (If you’re already on my mailing list, you can ignore this.)

13 Responses to “Why I’m Looking Forward To Tomorrow (And Why I’m Scared Shitless)”

  1. Liz

    Good luck! I have my fingers crossed for all concerned. x

    Reply
  2. Emily Chappell

    Once again you’ve hit the nail on the head, and put your finger on many of the reasons why, even now, I am deeply ambivalent about writing a book (when I EVENTUALLY finish my journey – which is still so far in the future that perhaps books will have gone out of fashion by then). Wishing you all best luck for the launch and for what comes next. I’ve a funny feeling you might be about to hit the big time – let’s hope it’s so big that you’ll be able to afford a PA to take on all the admin, so that all you have to do is ride…

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      I’ve written it for my own satisfaction (on various levels), which might sound selfish, but I think that desire needs to be in there if it’s a personal story like this.

      But you must do it! Here’s why, in the words of Anne Lamott:

      […] I look into my students’ faces, and they look solemnly back at me.

      “So why does our writing matter, again?” they ask.

      Because of the spirit, I say. Because of the heart. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.

      Reply
  3. John HP

    I think you’ve concisely listed the pros and cons of putting a book out- I’ll be signing up for my discount code now. Embrace the public speaking aspect of it if you can, this is a huge step for the growth of any professional. Best of luck to you.

    Reply
  4. Tiago

    I was really looking forward for the movie, but unfortunately PayPal is not working for me. Tried three different credit cards and it always says payment could not be completed. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  5. Tiago

    Oh, and by the way, janapar.com is simply not working at all from Australia.

    Reply
  6. New Cyling Film: Janapar – Love on a Bike « Just Riding Around…

    […] is the Armenian word for journey. Janapar is a also film that launched earlier this week, where Tom Allen tells the story of how he cycled 12,000 miles round the world, […]

    Reply
  7. Marlene

    My husband and I watched Janapar last night. What an engrossing story! I cried a little, and laughed a lot… Thank you so much for sharing Tom, this was a fascinating story begging to be told, and beautifully edited too.
    I am very much looking forward to reading the book.
    All the very best with what lies ahead.

    Reply
  8. Alan

    Watched Janapar last night. As somebody currently saving for my own adventure, it was just the dose of inspiration needed. I thought it was very intelligently shot and I loved the bits of conflict and struggle. They added the third dimension that is missing from so much stuff. Really looking forward to the book and congratulations on what I consider a phenomenal success!

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Thanks, Alan. We were aiming squarely at the human story. The lack of that is what switches me off a lot of ‘adventure’ film. So I’m really glad to hear it came through!

      Reply

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