As much as I love writing fiction (and don’t worry, I’m not going to stop), these are the books I’ve always dreamed of writing. Literally. Before I wrote my first novel, I daydreamed about taking everything I was learning about myself, and all the nonfiction reading I do, and distilling it down into digestible bits that family and friends might enjoy.
Make no mistake: I don’t consider myself an expert in anything. Not even in publishing. Certainly not in sailing. I’m struggling through life like anyone else. The one thing I have going for me is that I read a lot. And pretty much all I read are books that help me understand why we behave the ways we do. That includes histories, biographies, and business books on top of the obvious works on philosophy, psychology, and biology.
I don’t know more than anyone else. I think my gift, if I have one, is to hold a lot of information in my head all at once and have it distill into an insight or two. I think we’re all capable of this; maybe I just spend more time writing it all down. My blog has been a constant source of enlightenment and joy for me. I learn a lot by collecting my thoughts on topics. I’ve been doing this in private with these self-help works for over a year now. I’ve been sitting on several of these entries until I got closer to embarking on my circumnavigation. There was never any doubt that I would write about my travels. So let me tell you a little bit about how these books work.
Wayfinding is the art of navigating by natural signs. The original wayfinders were the ancient sailors who took to coastal waters in little more than human-powered canoes and rafts. As a self-help program, I see Wayfinding as the art of looking for the natural signs that often get drowned out in the modern world. This process borrows heavily from the art of mindfulness but also from evolutionary psychology. And it is compatible with the world’s major religions.
Wayfinding is not about a destination; it’s about a journey. No two people will end up in the same place, and there’s no goal other than self-betterment, which will mean something different for everyone. But this is a universal system, because there are universal truths to the human condition. Despite our variety, we have far more in common than we have in difference. The fact that the same works of art can move people across cultures and throughout time point to the biological heart of us all. We inform culture far more than culture informs us. Getting to the roots of the human experience, and how the modern world presents challenges for which we are not suited, prepares us to live fuller, happier lives.
Despite my lack of expertise, I can guarantee that anyone who follows this series will be rewarded. These are principles I’ve used for the last twenty-plus years of my life. I’m not perfect, which is why I’ve needed to find a system to help me smooth my rough edges. It’s a work in progress. This series will take you along on my journey of self-discovery. It will also bring you along on my trip around the world. Each piece includes two parts. The Wayfinding component comes first, and deals with the self-help aspects. The second part is called Wayfinder, which covers my travels in a catamaran by the same name.
I will embark on my more literal voyage in September. Each of these works will cover some part of that voyage. You will also be able to browse photo galleries here and track my progress around the world. I’ll also sprinkle in plenty of stories from my past voyages. Most people who follow this blog think of me as a writer, primarily of science fiction. But that’s a very recent stage of my life. I’m a sailor at heart. These books get to the core of who I am. You’ll see my flaws, my mistakes, my regrets, my heartaches. We are not alone in this voyage. We are all traveling through space on the same wet rock. We are all trying to figure out how to make the best of our limited time here, and how to leave the world a better place than how we found it. That’s the essence of Wayfinding. I hope you’ll join me on my journey.
All the Wayfinding entries are available to read for free through Kindle Unlimited. I wrote about the program here, and promised to give away five 6-month subscriptions to KU. The responses have moved me to tears. I’m so overwhelmed, that I’m going to give away twenty 6-month subscriptions to KU. More about that soon.
Wayfinding Part 1: Rats & Rafts
Wayfinding Part 2: Hell & Heaven
Wayfinding Part 4: Old World & New
10 replies to “The Wayfinding Series”
I stumbled on these after reading the second Beacon 23 and was wondering when you were going to mention them! They’re exactly what I’ve been craving since ‘False Summits’ and ‘Fire at your back’: what makes Hugh, Hugh? I, for one, am delighted at the honest glimpses you allow us into your beautiful life and mind. Thanks, Hugh!
Thanks, Besco. I’ve been nervous about publishing these. Then I started getting emails from readers that have blown me away.
I am loving these books! Please keep writing them. That is all.
Looking forward to the journey. I just bought the Food & Fitness book. Looking forward to reading your tips. Looking to drop 20 pounds. Be safe on your journey Hugh!
Sooooooooo…I guess I am getting a kindle. Great cover art and titles. So excited!
I haven’t gotten around to reading Wool yet, and couldn’t get into Second Suicide, but this project is quite fascinating. Will take a peek via Kindle Unlimited. Also liked what you did with the flip books. It looks like you had quite a bit of fun making them.
As Stranger in a Strange Land inspired the Church of All Worlds, so will Wayfinding inspire the Church of the Way.
My grandfather was Tongan, he was one of the last of the traditional Way-finders of Tonga. The navigational skills were handed down from generation to generation. They used the stars, the currents, the weather and other signs to navigate throughout the pacific without GPS, compasses or maps to guide them. He also built boats from traditional skills that are lost now. As a young man he acted as a navigational guide for US patrol boats during WW2, (Including JFK’s boat) guiding them through treacherous seas and to unknown atolls and islands that were unmapped. He was decorated for his service at the end of the war. I wanted to learn these skills from him as they were a dying art, unfortunately he died before I was old enough to inherit this ancient knowledge.
Wow, that’s incredible. What an amazing life he must’ve had.
Absolutely loving this series and chomping at the bit for book 5. Would feel more comfortable recommending to friends if you put on a shirt on for the covers:) Are you the Matthew Mcconaughey of sci-fi authors?
That said, I’ve been thinking about will power nonstop since I read your book and my word count is up this week, so your inspiration is doing some good. Wish I hadn’t read your piece on video game addiction at the same time Arkham Knight came out. I’m only human:)