About writing “Less”
Writing Less has been a completely different experience from my previous book, The e-Residency Program of Estonia. While the latter was mainly an informative book, the one you are reading right now is more of a personal affair.
It is true that in The e-Residency Program of Estonia I speak firsthand on how I became an e-Resident of the Baltic country, how that allowed me to open my online business, and how this business gave me the freedom I sought to pursue my dreams. However, I wrote it in a fairly factual style, offering a lot of practical information aimed at entrepreneurs who wanted to know more about Estonia and its digital nation. A lot of that information (taxes, banking solutions, VAT…) is of technical nature.
By contrast, with Less I wanted to share a very personal story about the path I have been walking since I published that website to sell most of my stuff. By being forced to rethink what was essential in my life, to look at things as mere tools that can be replaced, and to understand that who I am, what I do, and the things I love can disappear overnight, changed me. And yet, when I started to write this book, I could not find the right words to describe this transformation without writing about the experiences that triggered it.
As an engineer, I tend to stick to the facts. My mind tries to rationalize everything and offer solid arguments based on data. Not being able to approach this book that way caused a colossal writer’s block –especially at the beginning– that I had to overcome.
The main idea behind Less was there, inside of me. But I discovered I couldn’t explain it in a top-to-bottom fashion (describing the main idea and applying it to different areas of my life). I needed to work the other way around, bottom-to- top. I had to build the main idea from every fragment and story, hoping that the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts. My goal, then, was gathering all these experiences in a comprehensive entity that would make sense to the reader. Just as it made sense intuitively in my mind. I hope I succeeded in this undertaking.
Alfred Hitchcock famously said, A film should start with an earthquake, and then the stress should continuously increase. This book, which does not follow any chronological order, starts with the death of my grandmother and contains other stories of my childhood, boyhood, and adulthood. As I mentioned, many of them are quite personal. I was reluctant at first to include some of them here. I was afraid to be exposing too much of myself in these pages. But I found no better way of describing this journey than through every step of the way.
Once I embraced that, and I let go of my fears, the words started to flow like a river.
Get your copy
You can get your copy of Less here, in both eBook and paperback editions. If you like it, I would feel humbled if you decided to write a review about it on Amazon and spread the word.