Just landed in Bali – digital nomad paradise

Just landed in Bali – digital nomad paradise

Bali is one of my favorite places; great food, a huge spiritual/natural food community, lots of history and culture. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream, everything is so pretty and photogenic. We’re staying in an old traditional house that’s all open, so that means mosquitoes unfortunately, but I still love the rustic appeal and space (my wife would much rather have something clean and hermetically sealed).

It’s March, 2019, and I feel like I’m still behind on 2018 goals, but it’s time to let go and move on. Today is Bali’s “day of silence” – a 24 hour total shut down; we’re not supposed to turn any lights on or even use the stove. I heard they were going to turn the internet off as well, so I had stocked up on TV shows and movies, but it seems to be working.

It’s kind of like a purge: Around sunset the “Pengrupukan” ceremony begins in the house compounds with the noisy banging of pots and pans and bamboo tubes along with burning of dried coconut leaf torches to drive out the demons.

Most Hindu Balinese villages make ogoh-ogoh, demonic statues made of richly painted bamboo, cloth, tinsel, and styrofoam symbolizing negative elements or malevolent spirits or even characters from Hindu mythology. After the ogoh-ogoh have been paraded around the village, they are burned in the cemeteries.

We are surviving on toast and instant noodles, watching the rain fall, and hanging out with the beagle and obnoxious cross-eyed black cat that came with the AirBnB. It’s a day of quiet and self-reflection, so working on this website – and figuring out the root of my author identity (who I am, why I write, personal anedcotes) seems fitting.

I may also do a little ritual cleansing and maybe some goalsetting: We are here in Bali for the next six weeks and, besides finishing this site and remaking my fiction platform from scratch, I plan to finish 2 new novels, and possibly a short non-fiction project. I spend a LOT of time on non-essential tasks and as I told someone on Facebook today, the books are the most important things. You don’t need to keep cranking out books if they aren’t selling; but if they ARE selling everything gets easier with more content.

This year I plan to step significantly towards a much larger platform: I’ve been roughly feeling in the same place for years, and doing the same kind of things. The bigger gains will happen from content marketing, partnerships and advertising, but I can’t do it until I have my basic platforms and funnels figured out (website, landing pages, email sequences, sales pages…)

I’m grateful for the life I’ve created, and I probably couldn’t have imagined the level of freedom I enjoy, but at this point I’m looking for more security and the ability to reach and help more people.

Finding my tribes

I’ve been travelling since I was 16, first in Argentina, then Malta and Taiwan (with side trips everywhere else), but I often felt isolated. In the last few years, there’s been such an explosion of location independent workers that a new community has popped up of “digital nomads.”

Now when we travel, we look for events or conferences we can go to to make new friends or meet old ones. It keeps me grounded and content during those periods where social interaction is harder to come by.

MOST “normal people” have no idea what it’s like to travel full-time, run an online business, and/or the struggles of writing and publishing books, (or they are all aspiration with no practical knowledge or ability).

I get tired of the guru role and it’s nice to be among peers. In a couple weeks, I’m speaking at a digital nomad conference here in Bali, about how people can use nonfiction books on Amazon to build a six-figure passive income empire. I’ll probably make a video or something, so make sure you’re following me on YouTube or social so you don’t miss it.





Writer Confessions

Writer Confessions

What is this post?

Writer confessions probably isn’t the right term, but the idea is – in this post you could talk more about your writing process. Describe your typical day; the things you wrestle with, the things you must have in your writing arena. Your writing space should be an extension of your author platform, not only to keep you inspired, but as a visual cue to readers.

Do we have to?

If your writer space is messy, just mention a few of the key objects you rely on; you can even use pics from the manufacturer’s website. You *could* also use affiliate links to products you recommend, but unless you’re driving tons of traffic, this probably won’t be a strong source of revenue – it’s better to get something done quickly than procrastinate because you haven’t added in all the fancy stuff.


My confessions:

  • Two characters in two different books quote the same passage from Keats in dialogue
  • I sometimes mix up my characters’ names – even across series
  • I need a plate of cookies and a cup of coffee or tea; or ideally a beautiful coffee shop with cake
  • Background noise distracts me (I can’t even have someone walk into my field of vision when writing) so I have a huge pair of noise-cancelling Sony headphones, my wife hates them because she’ll have to yell to get my attention. When writing, I listen to soft indie folk music or trans/techno music (all beat, no lyrics).
  • I’m much better at plotting and editing than I am at getting the first rough draft down into words, but I’m working on increasing my writing speed.
  • One time I hid under the table at the London Comicon rather than talk with readers.
  • I’m a cat person. We’ve had several small black cats named Xiao Hei (little black). One of them got sick, and I couldn’t bear to have the vet put him down, so he had two good weeks at home before dying in what I assume was agonizing pain in the yard. Still one of the big regrets of my life.
  • Sometimes I lie awake at night musing on all the stories I’ll never have time to tell.
  • I LOVE rain and thunderstorms, but only from the safety of a front porch with a nice view.


Now it’s your turn

What interesting details can you “confess” about your own writing process?