Derek Sivers

What I’m doing now

(This is a now page, and if you have your own site, you should make one, too.)


I loved “Courage to be Disliked” and “Story of Philosophy” so much that reading them has been one of the highlights of each day. Just finished today.


My main focus: I’m writing three books this year:

  1. Your Music and People(done)
  2. Hell Yeah or No(doing now)
  3. How to Live(rough draft done)

I plan to self-publish all of these. Printing hard-cover books, hiring my own translators, illustrators and animators, and selling everything directly from my site. It feels kinda like the independent music movement from 1999-2000 where musicians realized they weren’t beholden to record labels. The idea of not being beholden to Amazon or publishers is exciting. It might mean less income, but that’s worth it to me. It’s more inspiring.

It’s also a fun programming challenge: building a database and site to manage translations, writing a script to turn my HTML articles into EPUB format, and more.

I’ve been turning off my internet connection - actually powering off the modem - from 7pm until around noon the next day, so that I can write offline without temptation to research various things that pop into my mind. It helps.


Last month, I emailed my private email list, looking for translators to translate my next books into their language. 1500 answered and offered their help. 500 of them offered to do it for free.

So I built a crowd-source kind of translation web app, so many translators, reviewers, and editors can log in and translate my books into their language, sentence-by-sentence. I’ll write about it later, when the first book is done.

Now 196 translators are translating my next book into 44 languages.

So it’s been a really intense month, first building the app and now emailing with all the translators.


In the last few months, I’ve gone from 100kg (220lbs) to 80kg (178lbs). It’s about the only time in my life I’ve ever lost weight. It feels great. For my height (175cm) I should be about 70kg (155lbs). Kick my ass if I don’t, OK?

Every morning I go to Zealandia - a 500-acre bird sanctuary - and go on a vigorous uphill 8km (5 mile) sweaty hike through the deep forest, for almost two hours in the cardio-to-peak heart rate. I go at 9am when they open, so I’m the only one there on those tiny back trails. I see no people. It’s wonderful. I let my mind wander - no headphones or phone - and reflect on whatever’s on my mind. Eyes filled with trees, ears filled with birds. I love New Zealand.

Lifting @ 25 reps: Squat: 110kg. Overhead: 50kg. Deadlift: 120kg. Bench: 70kg. Row: 60kg. Not great. Not a top priority, though.

Since May 1st, I’ve had almost no sugar, caffeine, dairy, alcohol, or wheat. It’s about being congruent — making my actions in line with my beliefs. These are all things I’d have, then regret, repeatedly. Old habits. Mild addictions. Un-necessary tools. Now I’m interrupting the short-term impulse and remembering the long-term gain.

(I said “almost”, above, because with each one I’ve tried the “ah, I’ve gone a week without now, I can have a little” approach, but didn’t enjoy it, and deeply regretted it. It feels better to be 100% congruent.)


As always, I’m giving my kid my full attention for around 30 hours every week. Usually way out in nature, but also home building things out of Lego or paper, making up math and spelling lessons, and encouraging his many stories. He does most of the talking.

My phone is rarely used. I turned it off for four days, and when I turned it on there were no messages. This is good. The less phone, the better.

I’m really happy. The ghost of my last relationship has left, clouds have cleared, and life is good.

No to everything else

(See “saying no to everything else” for more thoughts on this.) I still get requests to do public speaking and interviews and such, but I’m just enjoying staying focused inward on my writing and learning, instead of shallow crowd-pleasing.

I don’t want more money or more fame. Just more focused learning and creative output.

This update was July 25th, 2018.