Sunday, December 14, 2008

Six Reasons to Work as a Writer Abroad

Six Reasons to Work as a Writer From Abroad

1. You differentiate yourself. There are thousands of writers in New York City. But most editors want fresh perspectives on things. It's easier to be memorable when you can write about things no one else could. Not to mention, an international perspective is highly regarded by many publications.

2. Stories. You barely have to try to come up with ideas when crazy things happen to you every day. When you have to bring your xmas tree home on a bus, for instance, stories just come naturally.

3. Characters. If you're into writing fiction, there's no better place to live than abroad, where people have habits and styles of communicating that challenge what you're used to and create possibilities for characters you never would have thought of before.

4. You'll want to write all the time. Especially if you live in a country where English isn't spoken, writing becomes an escape and a daily drug that keeps you sane.

5. Travel Writing. It's easier to carve a nitch out for yourself if you live in an exotic land. With slashed budgets, publications are more and more likely to hire someone that's already living in the local they want to cover so they can avoid paying travel expenses.

6. Less Competition. Chances are, wherever you decide to live abroad, there will be English publications. And if you're in a non-English speaking country, you will have less competition for those jobs. So if you're good, your ideas are more easily accepted and you'll most likely be able to find some steady work while you keep reaching for those dream publications.

Anyone else have any points to add? Of course, being a writer abroad isn't all fun and games--permits to work can be an issue, cashing checks for pubs back home can be challenging, and many of your favorite publications won't be readily available at a reasonable price. Still, in my opinion, the pluses outweigh the negatives. But then again, there are days I'd give anything just for a big English bookstore.


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