Writer’s block, writer’s doubt, and writer’s distraction — — or maybe, in my case, a lazy or laid-back blog writer is more accurate. These are my thoughts about the audience, topics, and purpose of my writing.

John Boyter
10 min readApr 5, 2024

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I am closer to having found out what form of writing suits me, and I prefer nonfiction. All writing, however, is creative writing, in my opinion. The shorter social media blog form, the longer newsletter, and my blog-based e-books are what I like and what I am capable of. I can self-publish on online platforms and work with my own digital marketing.

The tools I need are limited. GoDaddy is the platform for domain hosting, and I use their web builder for my website. I use MailChimp from Intuit for my newsletter landing page and email campaigns. I use Google Workspace with Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Google Docs to organize my content, information, and ideas. For my accounting, I use QuickBooks Online from Intuit. Dashlane password manager and Google authenticator are the tools I use for internet security.

Last year, I experienced writer’s block, which lasted months. My version of writer’s block has been caused by pivoting between topics based on doubts and low confidence mixed with some laziness. My experience is always that I come out on the other side having learned more and improved my writing. Now, in March, I experienced writer’s block again, or rather writer’s doubt, as I have learned to call it. I listened again to Conquering Writer’s Block and Productivity Hacks for Writers, both taught by Jessica Brody. In her courses, she recommends brain hacks, space hacks, and device hacks.

I found the brain hacks the most useful. I liked her suggestion of using meditation, which is something I am trying. And drinking coffee when writing instead of just for pleasure. Limiting it and not using coffee as the drug it is to boost energy and focus is an opportunity missed. Regarding space hacks, I can really write from anywhere I feel comfortable. With device hacks, adding more applications is just confusing. I have the tools I need. In my case, all my challenges with becoming more productive are in my own mind.

Las Terrenas. Trying to focus

Since mid-February, I have been in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic. I have had a home here since 2017, but when I lived in the DR, I was mostly in Santo Domingo. During March, I really got into a learning mode, and I really enjoyed the two courses by Jessica Brody. It wasn’t hard to listen to both of them. She also explains methods to count words, including a word count tracker, which I want to look more into.

I learned new terminology again: writer’s distraction and distraction-free writing. Apart from writer’s block and writer’s doubt. Turning off the distractions like scrolling on social media. TikTok and Instagram can get bad. Turning off the BBC and CNN news on the TV. Not going out one more time for just coffee and a cake. I realize for someone with an addictive personality like me, this is maybe the toughest hurdle.

I finally finished listening to Editing Mastery: How to Edit Writing to Perfection, taught by Shani Raja. But I am still working slowly through his other course, Writing with Flair: How to Become an Exceptional Writer. He has a monotonous and not-too-inspiring voice, but I haven’t completely given up on him. His courses also get quite technical and aren’t easy. Admittedly, I didn’t complete all the exercises, and I really struggled to concentrate while listening to the video. His broader writing course also includes editing training. So I have a chance to learn it again.

Writing routines

In Las Terrenas, I can’t complain about the lack of time to write. Especially now, I have everything clarified around my business in Santo Domingo, my tax situation in Denmark, and other more personal issues, including health issues. Now, my problem was suddenly being too comfortable. Jessica Brody says, “You can’t wait for inspiration to strike in order to write,” so I worked on another way of getting into a routine. It ended up being later in the afternoon and night that I would write. Later and later.

Recently, in Denmark and Santo Domingo, I tried to schedule my breakfast at 8–9, exercise around 10–12, write from 1 to 5, and then read more in the evening, and it worked reasonably well, maybe because I had to go out for my exercise routine and to write. I also had to adapt to other people’s schedules. Now, in Las Terrenas, I just had too much freedom. Keeping the discipline became even more of a challenge.

For my second e-book, which I am working on, I am trying with something of an outline first. And with more of a chronological structure, hoping to make it easier that way. It is mainly bullet points, with events and topics from January to June. So, it is still in progress. I hope to finish the second blog-based e-book in June or July. A helpful method I have learned 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.

Finally, some more feedback

Feedback is so important, and I am so grateful when I receive it. At first, I was asking others to read my material, but I stopped doing that because I felt it was rude. For a long time, I then felt frustrated because, suddenly, I wasn’t getting any feedback, leading to self-doubt about my abilities. But you just have to keep going.

I received little feedback from the first e-book, as few people bought it. Shortly after, I wrote and published a newsletter edition, where many wrote to me they liked it. I think writing and finishing the e-book improved my writing skills and also the quality of my content for the newsletter.

Writing in English

Two Canadians, two English people, two Americans, one Spanish friend who is an English professor at a university in Madrid, and one Danish fellow and nomadic friend who also writes in English all liked my last newsletter. So, I think I can now say for good that writing in English is a non-issue. Several people questioned in the beginning why I didn’t write in Danish. I always thought that was self-explanatory as my English is good, and many more people online can read and understand it.

Learning is a part of my routine

Now, from April, I have the courses on writing on LinkedIn Learning on standby as I have started instead on something completely different on the platform Coursera. I am thinking if I am going to suffer over an online course, it shouldn’t be a writing course but rather an accounting course. I started on Bookkeeping Basics by Intuit. On Coursera, I am also considering enrolling in a program for digital marketing and another one on creative writing. I plan to do that during the fall when I am back in Denmark.

My social life and routine while in Las Terrenas

In Las Terrenas, I often go to this new coffee spot, Chiringuito di Ciccio, next to the Italian restaurant Di Ciccio at Playa Punta Popi. It is nice drinking Italian coffee, eating a cake there, and having a chat. They show sports there, and I watched Champions League football games there a few times.

There are three Italian guys working at Chiringuito: Roberto, Paolo, and a guy who I refer to as the Bitcoin guy, as he also works in the Bitcoin shop. I went and visited the shop to talk to him there. It is owned by an English guy around my age, who has another shop in another tourist town, Cabarete. I am intrigued by the cryptocurrency stuff. I have been very skeptical all along, but I don’t want to be judgmental. So I listen to the Italian talking about it. He speaks very good English.

Socializing and mental health

I got into a routine of going for a long walk on the beach and having either brunch on the way or lunch after the walk. Then, before walking back to my apartment, I would stop for coffee and a cake. So, I often wouldn’t be back in my apartment before early in the afternoon. I have been much better this time in meeting new people. A step in the right direction for my mental health. I have also had more time here staying longer. Maybe I am becoming more extroverted again. Not thinking about health issues and less anxiety has really helped.

Defining my audience

I have defined my audience to be expats hereunder expat entrepreneurs, which is often an older demographic. Digital nomads, who are typically a younger crowd, all use modern technology tools and travel more adventurously. And finally, international business travelers who are a mix of younger and older and typically the most financially strong segment. The three segments overlap and have some similar interests. The people I get feedback from all fit into these segments, which, to me, confirms that I am doing something right.

Narrowing down topics

My blog-based e-books have elements of memoir writing. But really, I don’t follow any particular rules. I categorized my first e-book on Amazon KDP as personal development, entertainment, and memoir writing. 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. In my e-books, I also get into more sensitive topics, and I include more storytelling about people I have met and meet. I refer to it as “living it and writing about it.” Lots of people write memoirs, not just celebrities and people who have gone through extraordinary situations. I hope to form an interesting narrative as I go along.

About travel

I write from different locations, making travel a part of my writing. First, from locations I know: Aarhus and Copenhagen in Denmark, Santo Domingo and Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic, and Kent and London in England. All locations where I go anyway. Later, I will include stays in other locations. Maybe a few trips to the United States for business, and I went now in February. I have also considered spending some time in Spain, writing from there, and traveling through Europe by train this next fall.

Newsy content

My newsletter will increasingly include more newsy content about events and profiles of people I meet that I find interesting, like expats and digital nomad entrepreneurs. Like with this edition, I go more into depth, and I hope to create content that adds value. Where the e-books and my social media blog are more like storytelling and entertainment, my newsletter will have more useful information about learning to write professionally and developing my content creation business.

Top rising creator on Facebook

Facebook recognized me recently as a top rising creator. Apparently, this label recognizes me for posting original content that has received strong audience engagement and meets quality standards. I have started shorter weekly blogging on Facebook and Instagram, and occasionally, I post on LinkedIn and Medium. I post it on my website, www.johnboyter.com, and link that to Twitter X and Threads. It is more entertaining content and diary-like. I have really been doing this since the pandemic, but I have paused it occasionally. Over time, I have been consistent. Now, I want to see if it can be at least weekly going forward.

“Top voice” on LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, I am trying to get recognized as a top voice, as they call it, under the one topic “Writing.” On this platform, it is harder for me to get recognition, as it is more of a business topics platform. I didn’t really start writing before 2021. I get sent invitations to take part in reading and commenting on their AI-generated collaborative articles. LinkedIn’s AI seems to have identified my interests to be in personal branding, communication, social media, digital marketing, and writing. Of these topics, I feel I can contribute the most under the topic of writing. Digital marketing is also a possibility. It quickly gets very technical, though. My angle would be as someone who does his own digital marketing and how I learn about it.

Growing my audience

I have named my newsletter. “Newsletter John Boyter.” I started with a database of contacts from the last 20 years of business and traveling. It was the only thing I really had of value left from my old business apart from the experience and the tools I am using mentioned above. Now, I try to grow my following by adding new email contacts to my database from new people I meet. A type of offline marketing. Recently, I have experienced new followers subscribing via my website and landing page. I don’t think they found it randomly by searching. Google. It was because I mentioned my newsletter in my social media blog, which I will do more and more.

It is very important to increase the following on my Medium account and my LinkedIn company page, for now named John Boyter. These are the platforms where I publish the newsletter together with MailChimp on my landing page and via email campaigns. Then there is all my personal social media. Especially Facebook, Instagram, and my personal LinkedIn profile, where I am trying to grow my following. The goal is to lead them over to my newsletter and e-books. Getting the recognition as a rising creator on Facebook helps my profile get suggested to new people to follow.

The purpose

I defined the purpose of my writing early on: to be entertaining, and maybe the reader can learn something from it or be inspired. I feel I have a lot of experiences to share around starting and learning to write, digital nomad and expat life and entrepreneurship, and travel, too.

I am not trying to give business advice as I can’t offer much of that, but rather, I can tell stories of experiences I have had over the last twenty years. And new experiences from now on. Developing my online content creation business and learning to write professionally.

My storytelling may serve as an inspiration for those working through depression, going through transition, or wanting to travel more. I hope it may help others to read stories from someone who is continuing to discover oneself.

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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.