Book Pivot

February 13, 2019

I find it fascinating how writing a book is similar to making a startup.

I have been writing for a hundred days on mainly two topics: entrepreneurship, and travel. My original book idea was to talk about how I got started as an entrepreneur and talk about my experience. I titled it “Making a Maker”. I still have 100 pages of raw content. Three days ago I was ready to start editing and marketing actively.

Yesterday I was thinking of the structure I should give to the book. I wasn’t satisfied with it. I wanted to go with a chronological approach, from childhood to entrepreneurship, to explain how things came to be. The problem is that Making a Maker is not one book, but two books really: one about entrepreneurship, the other about nomadism. I hoped I could find a way to tie the two topics together. There are definitely bridges between all the traveling I do and my life as an entrepreneur, but I just have too many things to say about both. There is more than one book in me. I decided to do a pivot.

Pivoting in a startup context means that you are moving away from a business model to integrate a new one. You keep your assets, but you change the formula.

I’m doing a book pivot: I still have my writings, but I’m going to focus on nomadism.

This book will be called Alter-Nomad, an essay on defining a sustainable nomadism for change makers.

I have spent more than 3 years living in foreign countries. I have done a lot of research, perspectives from authors such as Gilles Deleuze (Nomadology: The War Machine), Rolf Potts (Vagabonding), Jacques Attali (The Nomad), Timothy Ferris (The 4-Hour Work Week), Frank Michel (Roads. Ode to Autonomadism.), Michel Maffesoli (Nomadism), and many more… Nomadism is not just a trendy topic, it’s an original way of life.

I’m aiming for a length of 100 pages (25k words). I have 10k words ready so far, which means I’m gonna have to increase my daily word count if I want to release the book by March 15, although I doubt I will ever face a dry well.

Since I’ve started writing 200 words every day I’ve been rarely experiencing any writer’s block. It’s far easier to write when you have a direction. I choose to focus on nomadism rather than entrepreneurship because I have a clear idea of the book’s structure. It’s always easier to be a captain when you know where you are going.

Alter-Nomad will be comprised of 3 main parts and a preface.

The preface tells how the book came about (it was originally an essay I wrote during my years in engineering school), its purpose for the reader, my journey writing the book in public (how it affected me, the issues I encountered, my research process) and some acknowledgments.

The first part of the book is titled Evolution of Nomadism and Travel. It’s an overview of the history of nomadism explaining the reasons why it’s in human nature to travel, from the first men to the three waves of globalization.

Then, I talk about The Challenges of Global Mobility, new trends emerging from the global economy creating both opportunities and challenges we must face: remote work, mass tourism, flow inequalities, precarity originating from mobility etc.

In the last part Towards an Alter-Nomadism, I discuss solutions I identified during my travels such as minimalism or slow travel. I am also addressing under-discussed topics such as how to deal with relationships or how to stay productive on the road. More generally, it’s a part about how to use travel as an enabler, a sustainable lifestyle, rather than shallow escapism.

Let’s see how it goes. I’m excited to release the Teaser website this week 🤩