Pat Rothfuss gives great advice over here for writers:
In closing, if you could give one piece of advice to new writers, what would it be?
Live somewhere cheap.
I beg your pardon?
Odds are, it’s going to take you a long time to finish your novel. Then it’s going to take you a long time to break into the publishing world. That means you’re effectively going to be working at a job that will pay you nothing, and you’re going to be doing it for years. So you should live somewhere cheap.
I keep giving this nugget out too, but it gets met with strong resistance. Hey, I know living in an exciting place, is, well, exciting. But it means you probably value that dream more than another.
I would love to live in NYC or somewhere more exciting. I eventually hope one day to make enough to consider getting out of the more rural Ohio (and at least get to a city in Ohio like Columbus, if not somewhere else), but for the mean time, there is a tremendous advantage to a cheap cost of living: it allows me my dream of being writer.
Someone on NPR not too long ago was talking about a Hemingway essay about why he was living in Paris at the time. To us today Paris sounds exciting and urbane. Hemingway claimed to be living there because it was really, really cheap and he could make each published article go further.
I remember talking to someone, before the real estate boom, that hundreds of thousands of dollars of equity in a house on one of the coasts, as yet unpublished, who told me they envied me the dream of writing full time. They said it was their greatest dream. I told them I envied the fact that they could sell their house and live where I lived for 10 years on the cash at hand, and write for 10 years without any worries.
“I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t leave CITY X.”
“Ah,” said I. “You love that dream then, far more than the dream of writing.”
I understand love of place. I grew up in a place people come to when they leave behind the midwests and so forth.
But the best advice is to live somewhere cheap. When people ask why I’m not back in the Caribbean, it’s mainly because I can’t afford it and that would hinder my writing right now.
And if you want adventure, citylife, and cheap, there are some awesome cities in Eastern Europe and South America that will make your novelist money stretch further.