New York · San Francisco · Writing

The Right and Left Coasts and Writing About Where You Live

Me in San Francisco

I can’t believe that after five years in New York City, I will be leaving in less than two weeks. There’s truly no turning back at this point–the moving truck is booked, the first-month apartment is all set up, and we just called to cancel our internet! Haven’t started packing yet, but that’s only because my boyfriend and I are MAJOR procrastinators.

We’ll be driving out in 6 days, which is a little crazy, with the only real stops being in Denver and Reno (I suggested we just throw our life savings on Black in Reno and see what happens…). And then, come November 1, we’ll be San Franciscans! Living in the photo above!

I’ve never lived in California, but growing up in Washington state, I think that going back to the West Coast will feel like going home (it will also mark the fourth corner of the U.S. I’ll have lived in). I was nervous for awhile, but now I just feel excited. I love this crazy, frenetic, dirty, beautiful, incredible city, but I’m also ready for the next adventure–and to trade a bitter NYC winter for the land of permanent fall in SF.

I keep thinking about how it will affect my writing–I’ve always been one to write a lot about places, but I’ve never been able to write about New York. Maybe once I’ll leave I’ll finally figure out how. Maybe, instead of setting things in the suburbs or the small towns of North Carolina (where I went to high school and college), I’ll be able to actually throw a character into the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn–we’ll see.

Fellow writers–are you able to write things set in places that you currently live in?

3 thoughts on “The Right and Left Coasts and Writing About Where You Live

  1. I am much more able to write about Los Angeles where I lived for 15 years now that I live in San Fran. There’s a lot in SF that is ripe for the imagination: stairs in hillsides, fancy houses with decaying curtains in the windows, gorgeous terraces and trees on a hillside cliff that lean with the perpetual wind. Yet LA is still where I write about, though I feel I can inhabit character’s minds better there – so far.
    WIshing you the best and welcome to SF when you get here.

      1. I don’t know how much time you’ve spent here already, but I am happy to make recommendations about good places to eat or whatever. What neighborhood will you be settling in? We lived near Clement Street, Outer Richmond for several years and now are south of the park. Good luck with your move and CC drive.

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