Marrije wants to know about
the pluses and minuses of living in several places (i.e. nyc and sydney) and how you do that logistically.
I hope you understand, Marrije, that a question like that is a license for me to whinge. You have been warned.
My answer in short: Aaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhh!!!!!!!
We’ve been saying for a while that we live half the year in Sydney and half in NYC. But it’s not true. It never has been.
We haven’t lived anywhere for six months straight since we lived in Sydney for almost two years way back in the olden days. The last time we were three months anywhere was San Miguel de Allende. In 2006 I spent time in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, San Francisco, Bologna, Madison, New York City, Kyoto, LA, Seattle, Lexington, London and Bangkok.
I have no idea how we do it logistically. Every time I think about it my head explodes. I long to live somewhere for a year without packing and unpacking my bags at least once a month. (I’d prefer that somewhere to be Sydney.)
Pluses: Lots of different friends in lots of different places. Seriously, the list of cities I could happily live in just grows and grows. Seeing more of the world is wonderful. (The whole airplane/airport thing I could live without.) There are still so many more cities I’d love to see: I’ve never been to Istanbul or Paris or Rio de Janeiro or Dublin or Capetown or Amsterdam or Tokyo or Moscow or Kinshasa.
Minuses: Too much jetlag and travel (seriously I think we lose at least two months every year to travel and dealing with jetlag. Not good.), getting sick A LOT, being desperately homesick for at least one month of the year (I know, I’m a big baby), never knowing where my favourite coat is, the book(s) I need are always in the other city, doing my taxes is a nightmare, feeling like I’m missing all the important moments in my family and friends’ lives, missing my family and friends (doesn’t matter where I am, I’m always missing someone), whingeing about it all way too much.
A lurker asks:
what if (hypothetically of course) one is an adolescent writer, who writes sporadically – poems, first pages, occasionally a whole short story! – but never finishes? should i (or one . . . or . . . never mind) push myself to finish a novel if i hope to be a writer someday, even if the process starts to feel stressful and rushed? and any tips to how to reach the end? or should i take my time and enjoy the ride? i’ve never been able to stick with a story more than a couple months MAX on my own. i’ve tried several times to write a nano-novel or similar timed bits but always give it up as more hopeless than usual. i love starting to write novels—just never finish them. thoughts?
Scott has written about this one in detail. Read him! There’s gold in that there advice.
Like he said the only way to learn how to finish a story is to, you know, finish a story. Circular but true. Personally, I don’t reckon writing’s much fun until I have a complete draft to mess around with. You’re denying yourself the best part!
That said I didn’t feel that way when I was a beginning writer. I wrote more fragments than finished stories and novels, and I almost never wrote more than one draft. Finishing and redrafting were skills I learned (to love) later.
My biggest advice to beginning writers is to have fun, enjoy yourself! I have more to say on the subject of beginning writers getting overly obsessed with the publishing rather than the writing part here. Which is not what a lurker was asking about, but is a tiny bit a propos.
if you could sit down and have lunch with any person who ever lived, who would you choose and why? (this is a standard question for me. i ask everyone. i love to hear the responses.)
Diana Wynne Jones and Margaret Mahy. Because they are the two geniuses of my field. I would love to sit down and talk writing with them. Or anything else really. They are goddesses.