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Advice for Writers

John Scalzi has what looks to be good advice for writers.  Why?

Because it very often appears to me that regardless of how smart and clever and interesting and fun my fellow writers are on every other imaginable subject, when it comes to money — and specifically their own money — writers have as much sense as chimps on crack. It’s not just writers — all creative people seem to have the “incredibly stupid with money” gene set for maximum expression — but since most of creative people I know are writers, they’re the nexus of money stupidity I have the most experience with. It makes me sad and also embarrasses the crap out of me; people as smart as writers are ought to know better.

Beyond really liking Scalzi's work, he does an amazing amount of work promoting other writers.  Just skim his blog for the last several months.  A hell of a lot more of it is about promoting other authors than it is about promoting his own work.  Here is an example of his advice.

8. Unless you have a truly compelling reason to be there, get the hell out of New York/LA/San Francisco.

Because they’re friggin’ expensive, that’s why. Let me explain: Just for giggles, I went to Apartments.com and looked for apartments in Manhattan that were renting for what I pay monthly on my mortgage for my four bedroom, 2800 square foot house on a plot of land that is, quite literally, the size of a New York City block ($1750, if you must know, so I looked at the $1700 - $1800 range). I found two, and one was a studio. From $0 to $1800, there are thirteen apartments available. On the entire island of Manhattan. Where there are a million people. I love that, man.

Posted on February 11, 2008 at 08:41 AM | Permalink


As a lifelong NewYorker, who's looking to escape to the Poconos as soon as possible, I can tell you this - only the rich and/or crazy people actually live in Manhattan. The rest of us live in the outer boroughs, where it's cheaper(but still not cheap. For instance, a studio apt on the Southern End of Staten Island typically runs $700 a month plus utilities). That's still nuts though - I'm looking at a house in PA that a 20 year mortgage would have a monthly note less than full coverage would cost me for my Suburban.

Posted by: HTRN | Feb 11, 2008 8:50:41 PM

This writer lives in southern Portugal for exactly that reason. A small farm for half the cost of an apartment in southern England.

Posted by: Tim Worstall | Feb 12, 2008 4:52:49 AM

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