About Trail A Week

All essays published on this site between August 2015 and August 2016 were created as part of a year-long project called Trail A Week.

Trail A Week was my commitment to create a new original piece of writing every week. I started with a new or known hiking trail, found a friend to walk it with, and then sat down at the keyboard to think about the place and the experience “out loud.” It was a fascinating process that continues after the project has ended: I’m never quite sure what’s going to come up.

I love to walk, and I compulsively write about it, so this project was pretty much my dream job. It was also a way to push myself, learn something new, and share a little bit of what I love.

My friends gave up and called it e-15
I’m based in Portland, Oregon, USA, but I do roam further afield. Here’s Eyjafjallajokull smoking behind me on a 2010 trip to Iceland.

Trail A Week is modeled on singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton’s Thing A Week project, during which Coulton challenged himself to write and produce 52 new songs in one year. It’s also inspired by artists and friends who borrowed Coulton’s model to fuel their own creative growth. I’m thinking of Angela & Aubrey Webber, who made a song a week when they launched their band, The Doubleclicks. And Alice Lee, who created a weekly email project called Probably Never, and edited the wonderful Yearbook Office. And Nicole Dieker, freelance writer and songstress with her own 100-week song project, who also wrote this excellent article about consistent creativity and becoming your best self.

Though the project is closed, the documents live. Trail A Week’s 52 essays will take on another form, and the work I learned to do in writing them continues daily. I do read all of my comments, and I would love to hear the thoughts and stories that surface as you read.

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