What takes so long?

I thought it would be nice to share with you some more of what I have been up to these past many months. The trouble is that much of it belongs to ongoing projects, and it is generally easier to blog about events that took place in the past – once you have had time to take it all in and chew on it for a while.

On the other hand, I believe that there is a lot to gain from writing down your impressions while they are still fresh. Later you may not remember things as they were – or you may no longer find the time or the energy to dwell on them. Which is a shame, really. We should all dwell on our experiences from time to time. It is how we may learn from them.

So I will give it a try. This post will kick off a new series, which I have dubbed ‘What takes so long?’. It will be about all those little events that make up the big picture but tend to go unnoticed, because they are just… Well. Not insignificant. And not boring, either. No. Just smallish.

This series will be about the things that I find it hard to start explaining, when People ask me what I do. The truth is that I am enjoying myself. That’s what I do. But somehow… saying that would probably not convey the right ideas to others.

Writing a book

As you probably all know by now, I am currently – among many other things – writing a book.

It all started when I quit my job as a systems developer, thinking that I needed to do something else for a while. Not because I hated what I did, but because I hoped that by taking a few steps away from it I might eventually come to love it again.

So I took some time to think and came up with the idea of writing this book about members of Mensa Denmark. As it often is with such things, I can’t tell you exactly where that idea came from. It just seemed right. It still does.

Becoming a publisher

I started looking into the whole business of writing a book. One question in particular posed itself from the start: Who would publish it?

I gave it some thought. Asked around. Searched the internet. Read a book. And – to make a long story short – decided that I would.

My reasons were many. For one thing, it was very unclear to me at the beginning, what exactly it would take to write a book, publish it and sell it. I wanted to know. And it seemed that the only way to find out was to do it. Leaving most of the process in the hands of an experienced publisher would certainly be easier, but it wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding.

Furthermore, by aiming at becoming a self-published author,  I would have no editor-in-chief telling me what to write. I would make the calls. I could seek out people for my interviews and ask them to trust me – personally – with their stories.

I could work at my own pace, setting my own standards along the way. I would not have to make sales numbers my first priority. Should the book become a bestseller, I would not have to settle for a 15% royalty. Turning the argument around: The book would not have to become a bestseller. I could cater for a small audience and still hope to make ends meet.

But what eventually convinced me that this was, in fact, what I wanted to do was probably that People told me it couldn’t be done. Or shouldn’t. No-one would buy a book that hadn’t been approved by a well-known publisher, they told me. I told them they were being silly. So there.

Starting a company

I would be my own publisher. And start my own company. And have it registered for VAT – just to get it right from the beginning and hopefully have the tax authorities working with me and not against me.

Which is where this story begins. But it is growing long already. So I will take a break and return shortly.

Coming up next:

Much more about all the hoops you have to jump through to start you own company.


Photo credit: Chaval Brasil / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND


  1. Pingback: What takes so long? Conducting interviews | BraveYourLife

  2. Pingback: What takes so long? Starting a company | BraveYourLife

  3. Kjeld Danneskiold-Samsøe

    Still looking forward to seeing the book… hopefully in 2014…

    • joan

      I’ll get there, eventually.
      And I look forward to seeing it too. :)

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