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Writers Live Everywhere

Earlier this year, the Daily News and the Los Angeles Times were arguing about whether Los Angeles or New York City is the best place to be a writer.

This is a silly argument in the 21st Century in the middle of an economic downturn. Most writers can’t even afford to live in these cities anymore. We are all dedicated to one of the least lucrative careers in the world, and it is downright reckless to argue that we should live in two of the most expensive cities in the country.

After years writing for GalleyCat, I know this for certain: Writers live everywhere.

I’ve spent years living in literary cities like New York City, Los Angeles and Ann Arbor, but I’ve also spent years living in a tiny town Michigan and a village in Guatemala. Everyplace I lived, I managed to find other writers and I never stopped writing.

Hugh Howey wrote and published one of the most successful science fiction books of the year while living in Florida. Katherine Boo wrote one of the best nonfiction books of the year while living in India. Flip to the back of your favorite novels on your bookshelf, you’ll find that writers live everywhere.

New York City is a great place to be a writer. It was hard to leave. Everybody snickered when I told them I was moving with my family away from the publishing capital of the universe. Then I discovered that Los Angeles is also a great place to be a writer.

But I could have moved anywhere. As digital presses multiply and self-publishing expands, publishing no longer bound to a single location. You could make the argument that San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Chicago, Nashville and many other cities also deserve a publishing reporter.

Writers live everywhere and it is time to stop pretending like you need to live in an expensive city to write. If you don’t think writers live in your neighborhood, just check out the National Novel Writing Month regional map. Find the writers near you on message boards, Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter or a good old fashioned sign in a local coffee shop.

Write where you live right now.

(Links via Edward Champion)

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