Starting my journey as a blogger. Living in the Dominican Republic as an expat and moving back to Denmark. My first blog-based e-book published on Amazon KDP.

John Boyter
11 min readFeb 12, 2024

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Writing online and in English

I started writing during the pandemic while living in the Dominican Republic, and part of my motivation was that it was something I could bring with me, literally in my laptop bag, if I moved back to Denmark. Now, I am in my second year of having moved back to Aarhus in Denmark, and I am finding some of my motivation again from the idea of being able to write from anywhere. Travel and write. That is why I choose to write in English and use online platforms to post and publish my content. My audience/contacts are spread around geographically, and I hope to keep growing an international online audience. Writing in English, self-publishing online, and building an international niche audience, I feel, gives me the most freedom and independence.

My first e-book

I am planning on writing and self-publishing a series of blog-based e-books, and now I have started with this first one on Amazon KDP. I write about experiences, and I write in the present, or as I like to say, “Living it and writing about it.” It is about personal development through writing and learning to write. I refer to these as blog-based e-books as I use material from social media posts, blogs, and my newsletter and rewrite and expand on that content. Some months ago, I tried a newsletter that extended the blog I was writing on social media and my website, www.johnboyter.com. Then I realized e-books would suit me better, and now, I use the newsletter as an introduction to the e-books. I can publish the e-books as I finish them.

My e-book published on Amazon KDP

It is not always easy to write, and it takes some confidence to publish it and put it out there. For my first blog-based e-book, I listened to the feedback I got from my blog and newsletter, and I have been trying to implement ideas from that. Here on Amazon, my first blog-based e-book is now available for purchase. I will write and publish more e-books while living in Denmark and visiting the Dominican Republic. And I will be traveling and writing.

My blog and newsletter

After writing my blog for the last three years, I recently extended it into a newsletter that overlaps with the blog and my social media and serves as either an introduction to or a resume of my e-books. I have covered topics around personal development, including my health journey and how I struggle to be healthier, which is a process of trial and error. I also write about traveling, writing, blogging, and developing my creative writing skills.

My health journey: Making healthier lifestyle choices

I quit drinking over five years ago. At times, I was a borderline alcoholic or maybe a functioning alcoholic, depending on how things developed around my business and private life. After quitting drinking and failing with a business venture, I had a long, drawn-out mental health crisis, which I have recovered from. By leading a healthier lifestyle, I work on avoiding a recurrence. Then, in June 2022, I had a heart attack and participated in a rehabilitation program at a hospital in Denmark. I moved back to Denmark during that time. Now, I try to exercise more, and I use different cognitive-behavioral self-help therapy techniques.

Learning to write: Writing from anywhere

A thread in my writing is the process of starting to write and developing my writing skills and my platform for writing. It’s about writing from anywhere, writing at a later age, how it started as postings on social media, and starting a blog as a type of therapy. Writing was not really on my mind for many years. It began some years ago when I started posting on social media about a problem I had in the Cayman Islands around a property and business venture there and about my business in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, which I was then trying to save. My posts on social media then developed into something more permanent during the pandemic.

A motivational blog and newsletter

I aim to make my blog, newsletter, and e-books a business, and I leave open the possibility that it becomes digital marketing for something else. My purpose with my writing is to be entertaining, and maybe the reader can learn something from it or be inspired. It is a motivational blog, newsletter, and series of e-books and will increasingly be about learning to write, the tools I use, and the added skills I learn to help develop and grow my content creation. In this space, I will share my personal experiences and learning process, from overcoming adversity to discovering the power of writing. I invite you to explore this journey of personal development with me – Newsletter John Boyter.

Series of blog-based e-books

I plan to write a series of e-books and publish them on Amazon KDP. The e-books have elements of memoir writing as I partly go back in time about my experiences in the Caribbean and living as an expat in the Dominican Republic. And partly, it moves more towards the present with my moving back to and living in Denmark and visiting the Dominican Republic. I travel to other places, for instance, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is not a “how-to,” but I share my own experiences and learning process.

My blog-based e-books are like a product I am developing. I will use my blog, website, social media, and newsletter for marketing them. Either way you look at it, writing is a business. I have expenses using different tools online and having a website. I have chosen to publish my writing using a company in the US I already have. There are some administrative expenses with that company. There will be some income online from publishing my content. That’s a business. Hopefully, I can break even in the short term and be profitable in the long term. Saying business in connection with writing seems to be a dirty word, but I don’t see there is any way around it.

Pivoting, writer’s block, and editing.

After starting a newsletter this year and while finishing this first blog-based e-book, I experienced writer’s block lasting months. My version of writer’s block is always during a process of pivoting based on doubt about topics, and it’s also based on low confidence. After starting on a newsletter, I found out I was not ready to publish a paid subscription newsletter. After talking with a new friend in England, whom I know from searching for writing groups, I came up with the blog-based e-book idea, which I can publish when I am ready. Instead, the newsletter is like an introduction and marketing for my e-books. I knew I needed to start on something that could potentially develop into a longer form of writing and eventually generate some income. Posting on social media and my blog on my website has worked very well as practice. However, I was beginning to feel it was a waste of time despite slowly gaining a larger following.

Just before finishing this e-book, I signed up again for LinkedIn Premium, including LinkedIn Learning, and watched two videos. The first was Conquering Writer’s Block, taught by Jessica Brody, and the second was Editing Mastery: How to Edit Writing to Perfection, taught by Shani Raja, which I am still working through myself. A useful idea is that if you write something, even if it’s very little, it isn’t actually writer’s block. It’s a writer’s doubt based on fear, and I think I was just progressing slowly because of low confidence and lack of direction. A helpful method is to divide the writing process into a draft stage and a revision stage. Then, in the draft stage, you just write and don’t pay too much attention to detail. I found, however, that I was editing and still creating new content and changing sections around in the revision stage.

I had a draft very early on from my blog posts. Making it into something readable with a structure was harder. At first, I found posting short texts on social media and blogging to be an excellent technique to avoid writer’s block, starting with shorter texts and gradually writing longer texts. Going from the blog to the newsletter was a more natural change as I was struggling to make my blog posts for social media short enough for those platforms. For my next e-book, I will try with an outline first and then write the social media and blog posts simultaneously with the e-book. Hoping that will give me a better structure from the beginning.

I am sure when I have developed my product more around the newsletter and the blog-based e-books, I will feel more motivated again to post regularly as I did before. I finally finished this, my first e-book, and it extended an e-book preview I sent out to my contacts in 2023 via email using MailChimp, published on the writing platform Medium, and as a LinkedIn Newsletter. After this introduction, the e-book starts in Miami, where I was visiting as the pandemic beganin March 2020. I got some very valuable feedback from the e-book preview, which I then tried to implement in this e-book and will keep in mind from now on as I develop my writing and content creation business.

Visit to Miami and the start of the pandemic

In February or early March 2020, I saw videos on YouTube of the emergency hospitals being built in Wuhan, China, to combat a virus spreading there. Still, I traveled to Miami at the beginning of March. I had not been there for almost two years, even though I had a condo there. When I arrived, I found that the last tenant had trashed my condo’s furniture. I felt sad and had no energy to do much about it. I was jaded by tenants in Miami and working through depression. The real estate agent, who had originally represented me, pressured me to pay the tenants back most of the deposit. This seems to always happen to me in Miami with realtors and tenants. They were either friends from the beginning or became friends. Then, on this trip, I really wanted to sell it, but it suddenly seemed like bad timing.

I also knew that Miami, and the United States in general, would never be a place for me, even if I could get legal residency. I had lost a lot of money on a business venture and a failed house build in the Cayman Islands, so I couldn’t really afford to try either. And I was about to take the final loss of having had a business in the Dominican Republic. Also, in the US and Miami especially, the pace is too fast for me. Every time I flirted with the idea and spent time there, I was always glad to return to the more laid-back Caribbean. During the last fifteen to twenty years, I have to say the Dominican Republic has always been the most pleasant place to be for me. From a social life perspective, it was preferable to Miami, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands, all places where I have spent more time. I was a tourist in Miami and Cuba, but in the Cayman Islands, I actually had temporary legal residency for a few years.

You can really live a cushy life in the Dominican Republic. I have been very fortunate to have tried out different places, all with nice weather, and tried different ways of business and lifestyles. With business, however, I find the United States the safest and most transparent, with a strict rule of law. I would have wanted to do business from Miami but not have a business physically there. Ideally, I wanted an online business. Running a local business would not be for me, and maybe not anywhere. I tried it in the Dominican Republic.

Miami, Santo Domingo and international lockdown.

Miami has a reputation for being superficial, and there is some truth to that. It is certainly a party town; I know from experience. That was the only thing I did when I first visited, and I also shopped for clothes. I had a comeback with partying there later on, but then I was too old for it, and then it was really a waste of money. I find Miami is really under-appreciated when it comes to culture and art. Latin Americans and other immigrants from the Caribbean have had a positive influence in that regard, especially the Cubans. The music scene, for instance, is amazing.

Another thing I like about Miami is that the business language is English. You seem to have to speak Spanish for anything not business-related, which I find fun. Social activities can easily be in Spanish or Spanglish, as many speak. In the Dominican Republic, I had the opposite experience, speaking more English socially and with clients when I worked in real estate, but everything related to the more formal side of the business, with the authorities and with employees, was in Spanish. After fifteen years, I still struggled with Spanish, especially when dealing with the administrative side of the business.

Now, in Miami, I started running errands, but I got little done as they began shutting things down because of the spreading coronavirus globally, shops and restaurants first, and then also my bank. The international banking I used to do in Miami after giving up in the Cayman Islands is hardly “international” anymore as I now seem to have to turn up personally to get something out of the ordinary done, which I should be able to do online. I am not a VIP client anymore, so I only have the very cumbersome customer service line to turn to if I can’t do it myself on their online platform. But if I ever qualify to become a VIP banking client again, I will not want those services. I want to do everything myself online, which is also the trend, and it gets easier and easier to my advantage. I managed to get the iPhone 11 at the Apple Store in Miami on this trip, and it is still my main tool day to day. When I bought it just a few days before, I had only been thinking that I was finally visiting Miami again after my long bout of depression, and I was still struggling and confused. I had no idea what was coming. I had been a bit oblivious to what was going on in the news.

Now, everything in Miami was closing, and I was in contact with my mother in Denmark. I heard from friends there what was happening in Denmark, and I heard about Italy in the news. Those two countries were the first in Europe to go into lockdown. Then I heard from my office in Santo Domingo and Dominican news sources that the Dominican Republic was going to shut down and close its borders. The Dominican president, Danilo Medina, then made his speech on March 16 announcing it.

The next day, I was still running errands, but I went to the pool, and then I sat at the coffee shop in the building, Joe & Juice, which closed that day because of the pandemic. It closed right as I was finishing my coffee. I wasn’t rushing things. I just couldn’t, and I had been trying to avoid stress, which I am good at when I am “allowed” to. I tried to contact American Airlines by phone and on their website, but it seemed impossible, and the departures and prices shown online made no sense.

Read more from e-book on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CVHJDNH8/ref=sr_1_2?crid=35TXL76V5X93Q&keywords=John+Boyter&qid=1707773669&sprefix=john+boyer%2Caps%2C129&sr=8-2.

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John Boyter

Becoming a writer. My purpose with my writing is to be entertaining, and maybe the reader can learn something from it or be inspired. Nomadic Blog Writer.