I’ve been a full-time author for a year as of the beginning of April.

It’s been one hell of a year. I went from a truly awful grocery store job to happily puttering away on my novels. Last August, I left my lease and started traveling full-time as a digital nomad, and I’ve spent the time ever since puttering around SE Asia and the South Pacific. My fourth novel, the standalone epidemiological fantasy novel The Wrack, comes out later this month.

So much has changed over the last year, and I’ve done so much stuff. I’ve worn pants less than any other year of my life, which has been glorious, for pants are the devil. I’ve visited Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which has been #3 on my bucket list since I was a child obsessed with the 1960s live-action Jungle Book movie. I went snorkeling in Fiji, visited Hobbitton in New Zealand with friends from the States, climbed a waterfall in Thailand, and so much more. I flew my brother out to visit me, and we did all sorts of amazing stuff ⏤ including visiting Angkor Wat yet again. I started donating 10% of my monthly income to charity.

It hasn’t all been perfect, of course. I had a pretty major friendship collapse around the time I went full-time as a novelist. (Depressingly, it wasn’t unrelated.) It turns out that I definitely have an easier time when I’ve got more structure than I do traveling, and there have been long periods when I simply haven’t left my apartment wherever except to acquire food. I’ve definitely been really lonely at times, too ⏤ it’s harder to build a community while traveling full-time. Not impossible, but harder. And I haven’t had much of a dating life, either. (Both because of the aforementioned difficulties meeting people, and because I frankly wasn’t really in a space where dating was a high priority.)

I also miss the hell out of my cat. (He’s fine, he’s with my brother ⏤ we adopted him together.)

But, all in all, it’s been an amazing year, and probably the most eventful of my life. People kept telling me that turning 30 wouldn’t be a bit deal, but wow, were they wrong.

I don’t know what the future holds. The digital nomad lifestyle isn’t really feasible in the middle of a pandemic. I definitely don’t want to get it ⏤ I’m in a moderate risk group ⏤ and I sure don’t want to spread it to other people. At the moment, I’m hunkered down in Vietnam, which is far safer than the States at the moment. I’ll probably be here for the next few months, then after that…who knows? I doubt that the digital nomad lifestyle will be feasible again until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19. That could be as long as a year and a half. (Hopefully less ⏤ a year would be ideal, six months is hypothetically possible but extremely unlikely.) I definitely don’t want to return to the States until things are stable, considering what a mess it is there. I would love to resume traveling as a digital nomad in the future, though I’d probably prefer to have a travel partner or buddy then. Travel’s more fun with other people.

Right now, though, I genuinely don’t know what I’m going to do next.

Well, except for one thing.

I’ve got a hell of a lot more stories to tell.

John Bierce


  1. Laura B. April 6, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Hi, just finished reading your Mage Errant novels. Great work I could not put them down until I was done with them.

    • johnbierce April 11, 2020 at 2:35 am

      Glad you enjoyed them!

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