nature

30 Days Wild: Day One – Spread the Word

If you’ve read GrowEatGift before, it will come as no surprise that today sees the launch of 30 Days Wild: a fantastic campaign created by the Wildlife Trusts, encouraging people to get outdoors and connect with nature every day in June through ‘Random Acts of Wildness’.

The Wildlife Trusts explain on their site, “A Random Act of Wildness is anything that you can do in an average working day to bring a little nature into your life. They can take a few seconds, a few minutes, or if you lose yourself completely, a few hours!”

I first took part  in 30 Days Wild last year, and had a brilliant time. I discovered many wonderful nature blogs, had social media timelines filled with pictures of flowers and cute animals/birds/bugs (yes, bugs can be cute) and connected with lots of people, online and in person. Better yet, as a result of all my wild adventures, I felt more relaxed, inspired and generally happier.

By engaging with nature every day, I watched the world around me change with the seasons; saw ducklings turn into ducks; flowers turn into berries; and realised that even the greyest day can have moments of beauty, if only you take the time to look around you.

Connecting more deeply with nature even provided me with solace on the day of a dear friend’s funeral: as I walked up to the graveyard he was to be buried in, I saw the first snowdrop of the year pushing its way through the soil, reminding me that life is circular. And nature can teach us so many more lessons too, from bringing science to life to inspiring poetic reflection.

Spending 30 Days Wild was so uplifting for me that, this year, I want to help spread the word about it and encourage as many people as possible to join in.

You can take part as an individual, a group, a business or a school. Adding a little more wildness to your life can save you money, as well as offering a welcome respite from stress. It’s an easy way to get exercise (even if you have mobility issues, you can still enjoy sitting outside, looking at the clouds – and a lot more besides.) And it has a host of other health benefits, which I’ll be writing about in future posts.

Sharing Ideas

When I started planning my 30 Days Wild adventures for this year, I realised I was accumulating lots of ideas that could help inspire 30 Days Wild first timers (in addition to the brilliant ideas on the Wildlife Trusts website and app, which are well worth checking out).

I’ve shared some of my ideas for connecting with nature on this site, but I decided that, for day one of 30 Days Wild,  I’d do something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and publish my own nature book on Kindle. I’ve been a professional writer for years but have never published my own ebook before. It was easier than I’d expected: I just had to write the book (obviously, the most time-consuming bit!), sign up for KDP, upload a cover and click ‘Publish’. A few days later, the book was approved.

Go Wild:  Over 200 Ways to Connect With Nature is a short (16,000 word) book filled with 200+ ideas for ‘random acts of wildness’, along with research on the benefits of nature, a smattering of plantlore and lots of ideas for saving money with nature’s help. It’s only available as an ebook but you don’t need a Kindle to read it: you can download the Kindle app for free.

My original plan was to provide Go Wild for free throughout June. However, I discovered that Amazon only allows authors to run a book promotion for five days out of every 90, so I’ve set it to be free for the first five days of June, and priced it at 99p thereafter – the cheapest price you’re allowed to opt for – so that it’s still as affordable as possible. I’ve also enabled lending which means that you can share it with friends who can read it for free for two weeks; and enrolled it in the Kindle Unlimited programme so that it’s free for anyone who is signed up to that.

However, for now, Go Wild is free for everyone to download so please do get a copy before the promotion ends: you can ‘Look Inside’ it on Amazon to see the contents and read a sample. I hope you enjoy it* –  and that it encourages you to join in with 30 Days Wild.

Get Writing!

I’ve encountered so many fantastic nature bloggers over the last year, and learned so much about the world around me from the people I’ve ‘met’ through 30 Days Wild. There’s a huge amount of valuable nature knowledge out there, inside people’s heads, yet all too many of us are unable to name more than a handful of trees, wildflowers or insects. Through 30 Days Wild, I’ve been lucky enough to encounter people with expertise in everything from permaculture to botany, farming to foraging – and I’ve relished learning from their expertise.

I’d love it if more 30 Days Wild bloggers created their own ebooks, to spread the word about going wild even further – and promote the great work that’s been done by the Wildlife Trusts (and other nature organisations).

If you’ve always wanted to write a book about nature, why not make June the month you do it? Take a notebook outside, let your random acts of wildness inspire you, sketch out the shape of your book and add a little to it every day. If you write 500 words every day in June, you’ll have 15,000 words by the end of the month – enough for an ebook.

Whether you know everything about amphibians, are brilliant on bats or are full of family-friendly nature activities, get the information out of your head and into a book (or onto a blog) so that other people can benefit from all you’ve learned – and nature can benefit too!

If you don’t feel inspired enough to write a book, sign up for 30 Days Wild: there are so many adventures waiting to happen, you may well feel differently by the end of the month…

On which note, outdoors is beckoning. Who knows what nature has on offer for me today? Find out in my next post and, in the meantime, download Go Wild while it’s free – and if you haven’t already signed up for 30 Days Wild, sign up today!

 

* I did get a little editing assistance (years as a writer and editor have taught me that two pairs of eyes are always better than one) but do let me know if you spot any typos: the joy of ebooks is that they can always be updated. 

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