5 Ways Moving to a New Place Gives You Perspective About Writing

As I quickly packed my belongings to move out of the rental in order to take possession of the new house in a timely manner, I started seeing some parallels between moving and writing and editing.

After an epic saga of massive proportions, I have finally moved to a new home. I have been renting for years, but I decided it was time to buy a house, not the least of which because the rents in my area are growing way higher than the properties are actually worth, and I did not want to be subjected to such fluctuations in rent. I moved to a house that had been unoccupied for about four years, since the previous owner allowed the house to go into foreclosure, and in Florida, these type of proceedings go for years through the courts. Without getting into a load of details, I will simply say this: it takes a lot of perseverance to try and buy a bank-owned property that is in decent condition.

As I quickly packed my belongings to move out of the rental in order to take possession of the new house in a timely manner, I started seeing some parallels between moving and writing and editing.

  1. Discovering things you didn’t know you had = discovering things you didn’t know you actually knew. I unearthed items in my closets and other storage areas that had been tucked away and long forgotten. And I’m not talking about old bottles of shampoo, either (we’ll get to that). I’m talking about items, some of them valuable, that haven’t seen the light of day in a long while. And old journals, handwritten ones, that I hadn’t looked at in many years. Many of these journals had been done right out of high school, where I was supposed to keep a journal in my Junior and Senior years. I took what I had learned from those classes and was applying them to my writing out of high school. How much has my writing changed? How much has it improved? Was there something I was doing then that I don’t do now? I do notice that one thing hasn’t really changed since those days; I didn’t and still don’t really write in first person. About the only things I write in first person perspective are these blog posts.
  2. Dust gets all over everything, no matter how well you store it = Even the best stuff I write needs a little cleaning up. Someone I told about my moving difficulties likened moving to the Ultimate Spring Cleaning. I like this analogy, and this made me think about my writing and marketing, and what kind of “spring cleaning” they might need. At the beginning of 2015, I had lofty ideas about Pulp Speed and getting much more writing done. I got to thinking about just what might be lurking on my hard drives and cloud drives that, with a little more “dusting off” might well supplement my future writing plans. I’ve already started this reclaiming words campaign with my The World Of The Inventor’s Son project on Wattpad. I included one deleted scene from The Inventor’s Son featuring Dr. Colbourne and his evil lackeys that almost made the final cut, but makes a new home as a supplementary passage in the chapter introducing him. I’ve also got a great deleted scene featuring Marcus Stanwood that I need to find the exact right place for.
  3. Moving furniture around = Finding inner strength to write. During the worst of the mortgage paperwork hell, I was participating in CampNaNoWriMo. April 2014 Camp was a disaster, that you can read about right here. (Interesting to realize that I was even talking about moving back then as well). I was determined not to let April 2015 Camp end up the same way. How can I do PCamp-Winner-2015-Web-Bannerulp Speed if I can’t even write a measly 20,000 words in a month? How can I move to a new place if I can’t even lift a box of books? Of course, it took a lot of loss of sleep, an aching back and shins that felt like rocks every time I took a step, but I got it done!
  4. Rearranging your rooms in a new space = Figuring out what’s important to your story and what isn’t. Everything is arranged differently in this new place. My slider doors are now off the kitchen, rather than the living room. My cable jack for the tv is right near the front door, instead of deep into the house. At first I thought this was going to be terrible, because I’d gotten so used everything arranged the other way, but now, since the cable jack is in the living room, so is the WiFi and that’s SO much better than having it in the bedroom. (This might also have to do with the fact that I’m no longer a Comcast customer, heh.) Similarly, my main character has been through the wringer in these first two books, and I’d run into a wall with him in Book 3 insofar as his state of mind. I knew I was going to have to dump the plot bunny of his deep depression if this book was ever going to get done. As a result, the final draft is getting worked on as I write this!
  5. Moving to a new place is prime time for redecorating = Publishing a new book is a perfect time to re-brand! I’ve already made a couple of changes to my small patch of front yard, all without running afoul of the Home Owners Association, and once I’ve sold a lot of books replenished my bank account , I’m planning on getting some new furniture. The good news, as far as The Inventor’s Son series is concerned, is that I don’t need to wait long to get the changes coming. As soon as I can, I’m getting a PO box, so that I can get my long overdue mailing list started. As you may know, authors tend to give a goody to anyone who signs up for their mailing list, and naturally I’ve got what I think is a pretty sweet mailing list goody prepared for anyone who signs up. I’m also working on revised covers in time for the launch of The Explorer’s Son. I’m revamping the e-book files so that they look even nicer. I’m going to upload to Smashwords so I can get into Oyster. And last but certainly not least, the print versions of all the books, which has been delayed long enough. I also realized that it’s been one year since I published The Inventor’s Son! While this momentous occasion has largely gone unheralded, I decided I’d slowly build up the hype for Book 3 and let that launch be the big deal this year.

What other kinds of experiences can someone draw a parallel to the writing experience? Has moving to a new place affected your writing goals?

Posted by SB James

I am the author of the Steampunk/Gaslamp Fantasy series "The Inventor's Son." Find out more at sbjamestheauthor.com


Haha I love that rediscovery of old bits of treasure 😀


I know! It’s like, “How did I forget this was here?”

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