It is all about taking risks

posted in: All the other stuff, My dreams | 0

riskHi all

Today, I want to write a little about taking risks. It is one of my favorite subject to talk about so I might as well get it on text as well.

Let us start with the facts: I have a great job and a great salary, and I love both parts. I love to go out for dinner, buy nice cloth and get what I like from the supermarket, and not only what I can afford. If I want to buy something for my wife, my kids or myself or travel somewhere, I just do it. I do not need to count the pennies first, and it is nice. Really nice.

The above-mentioned is of course what I am risking, since I am giving it all up for a stab at a career as an author – an author with a guaranteed income of nil, nada, zip, rien… You probably get the point. I have a lot, and I stand to lose a lot. Financially, that is. My wife has told me, divorce is not an imminent threat for the time being.

I know that in the coming months I will probably get tired of broccoli soup and tired of looking at an ever dwindling bank account. I will probably question my decision a million times and look back at the days when money came flowing in on a daily basis, and I ordered double up on the expensive sushi because I liked to and could afford it.

So why am I still taking the risk with this foolish career change, when I seemingly have all a man could wish for and then some?

I take the risk because I mentally cannot afford to have a dream and not go for it. I do not want to live a life where my dreams are dictated by my fears of losing something as meaningless as coins and bills. Yes, they are nice to have, but I also make a damn good broccoli soup. I would rather save money on cloth, expensive sushi and travels and live my dream than sit on a Michelin star restaurant talking about how I have a dream, but I do not dare to reach out for it. To me it is not really risk taking. It is a logical choice.

My wife and I have a saying that we try to live by when we face tough decisions. It goes like this: ‘What is the worst thing that could happen?’ When you ask yourself that question, it puts things into perspective.

To me it is a good reminder that I live an over-privileged life where the worst-case scenario for the imminent future is finding out I cannot write anything worth reading, and I have to beg to get my old job back. God forbid it, I might even have to get a real job from 9 to 5. What a horrible thought!!! My kids will not starve to death, and I will not need to sell a kidney. That is not what I am risking by reaching out for my dream, which is why I am more than willing to go for it.

I will add that I am also a risk taker, and I fully acknowledge that many people need financial stability to sleep well at night. I do not. I need something nice to dream of to sleep well at night, and right now, it is of becoming an author.

Would you also be willing to risk a lot to live your dream?

Please feel free leave a comment


It takes two to tango

posted in: My books | 0

Tango-Show-Buenos-Aires-01In all aspects of work life, it is important to analyze what you are good at, and where you really really suck. This way you can get help where you need it and only focus on the stuff where you are least likely to mess it up. I have applied this analysis to my Six Book in Six Months project and realized I pretty much suck at everything but writing. I could probably even make a mess of this since I have decided to write in a foreign language. Do not even get me started on English rules for comma usage.

Therefore, I have pinpointed where I need help in realizing my dream of being an author and where I will get it. I hope this will turn my great stories into great novels on your electronic device of choice.

The plan:

Fortunately, I have many English and American friends who can tell me where in my writing I have made grave mistakes. Step 1 is to pass the first draft of my books to them for a quick kick in the groin and a blow to my self-confidence. Yes, I have honest friends.

Secondly, I will pay an editor to clean out the last grammatical mistakes, put in the missing commas and make it look like an actual English-speaking person wrote them.

I cannot even make a proper doodle on a piece of paper so an illustrator will help me with the front pages.

When people, who hopefully know what they are doing, have edited and illustrated my books, I will give them to my publicist, PR manager, social media specialist, key account manager, financial advisor and wife (it is the same person). She will take it from there and make sure my books are available at various eBook retailers around the world. Apparently, this is quite easy to do. She will also make sure that everyone who have ever seen Pirates of the Caribbean, heard of Captain Blackbeard, seen a flag with skull and crossbones or even played with a wooden sword will hear of them. Then they just have to be good enough for people to buy them. This is still up to me.

I can write the books alone, but I cannot make them perfect and sell them without help. Therefore, it takes two to tango, or in this case, where it actually takes a lot more people to do something that is closer to a Greek zorba.

Day -51. This is what I will write about

posted in: My books | 2

White Boards‘How are you going to do it?’

People ask me this question a lot, when I tell them I want to write and publish six books in six months. I understand them. I ask myself that question all the time, and I will use this blog post to share some of my thoughts. This post is going to be about the development of the stories.

Since I want to write six books in six months, I’d better figure out what they are going to be about and what the stories should be well in advance. Therefore, I went to my local Chinese stuff-dealer last week and freed him of his stock of large white boards. He only had five, and I do not hope this is a bad omen. Anyways, the white boards are now hanging on my office wall, and they are still quite white as you can see in the photo. During the coming weeks I will fill these white surfaces with plots, side plots, characters, locations, events, twist and other scribblings. I might also make a doodle here and there. This way I will have every detail about the content of my six books ready before January 1. Then I ‘only’ need to write them when we get there:-). That is the plan at least.

I will write six books in a series. It is easier than developing six different sets of characters, universes and so on.

And… I will write about… Drumroll…. Drumroll extends…. Drumroll extends a little more, and now it gets annoying… piracy with a sprinkle of fantasy.

Piracy and fantasy, what the heck??? You might think. If so, here is an explanation:

I love history. As a journalist, I find articles on history the most fun to write. Give me a new archaeological discovery to describe, and I am happier than a kid in a candy store. Of the hundreds of articles, I have written on historical and prehistorical times, articles on piracy have been among the most fun to make. Piracy is in my opinion a fantastic setting for the six fast-paced adventures I will throw my main characters into. It will also be a pure joy for me to write about it.

I will give this piracy setting a hint of fantasy. I love this genre as well, and I think the combination of the two will work very well. Think something like Twilight and Hunger Games meets Pirates of the Caribbean (think I might have put the bar a little high with this comparison).

And then back to the white boards…

In the coming weeks I will think a lot. I will visualize how characters look and act. I will see great battles at sea and narrow escapes through jungle covered islands. A sword fight leaves a young girl mortally wounded, and a tyrant sentences an innocent man to be hanged. Two lovers gets separated, and cannon balls sends a ship to the bottom of the ocean. A man with a golden eye wanders the streets at night, and a ship with a dark secret is left in a cave for 100 years. All of this I write on my newly acquired white boards, and from January 1. and six month ahead I will turn all my ideas it into six amazing stories that I hope you will enjoy reading.

This is my plan and my dream, and if need be I will use 25 hours a day to make it a success.

Feel free to leave a comment and remember to subscribe to my blog via email. You can do this from the right sidebar.


I have a dream

posted in: My dreams | 4

I have a dream.

My dream is to be able to make a living from writing fiction. I want to tell stories that linger for weeks after the last page is turned. It will be mind-boggling sci-fiction, epic historical novels, fast paced fantasy and chilling crime novels. I want to explore the depths of my imagination and create stories that pull my readers into the unique universes that I create. I guess, I am no different from most other authors in that respect.

I admire all the aspiring authors of the world. Most use hundreds of hours writing books without having the faintest idea if anyone but their grandmother and maybe an aunt will buy and read them. However they still pursue a dream when in many cases they could have chosen a safer path in life with a 9 to 5 job and a fixed salary. So could I. I actually have a great job. As a science journalist, I get to write about human evolution, climate change, genetics, history and archaeology on a daily basis. I have written more than a thousand articles on these subjects and I am very successful. Still, I want to try something new. I only have one life (most people do), and I do not want to sit in some retirement home many years from now regretting that I had a dream of writing books, but chose the safer path, because it was the financially sound thing to do.

I often cite something a nurse at a retirement home in Australia wrote in some book a few years back. She had cared for dying people for more than 25 years, and in the end she made a list of the things people regret the most before they die. The thing most people regret is:

‘I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, and not the life others expected of me.’

Now, I hope I can inspire people by pursuing my dream. Mainly, I want to inspire my children by showing them that dreams are meant to be fulfilled. If they are not, then they are only fantasies. My dream right now is to write books and be able to make a living of it. Will I succeed? I do not know, but in the end I want to be able to tell the nurse at some retirement home 60 years from now that I do not regret the life I lived, and that I truly tried to live out all of my dreams.

Feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions:-)