Writing in a new town: 5 tips for the nomadic writer

If, like me, you’ve just moved to a new town, you might be finding it quite daunting. I’ve been writing in a new town for about 6 months now, and people have started noticing something – there’s been a name appearing on email lists around town. A new name.  A name that no one recognises, apart from a select few.

It’s my name.

As I said, I’ve been in Colchester town for over 6 months now, and I’ve decided it’s high time I made a bit of  a name for myself around the place.  To become that go to fella that people want to talk to when it comes to writing in a new town.  I’ll make sure that I look at every email, that I’ll go to the write right events to meet the write right people.

All of my activity got me thinking – what should one do when they move to a new town?  What is the best way to get oneself known in a new place?  After all, opportunities aren’t going to search for you unless you’re very very lucky – how will anyone know that you’re there?

So below you can find some top tips from a nomadic writer who has moved three times in the last 5 years, and each time tried to forge new relationships with the best people.  Not all of these tips will work for everyone, but they might just give you an idea of what to do next.

My 5 top tips for writing in a new town

  1. Subscribe. Get your name on as many mailing lists as possible.  Seriously.  Even for that creepy gig venue that you’re never going to go to.  They might have a writer’s meet-up, they might host an open-mike poetry night.  If they don’t, unsubscribe.  What have you lost?  Ten seconds from a day?
  2. Ask a local.  Who performs shows in the area, are there any amateur writers groups around, or do they know anyone that you can ask about this sort of thing?
  3. Be positive.  Yes, that group of writers might have known each other for years, but that doesn’t mean that you have nothing to bring to the table.  They might disagree with you, but so what?  Your opinion about writing is just as valid as theirs, even if it wasn’t forged in their town.
  4. Be humble.  You might think this goes against the above point, but I’d argue not.  Positive thinking is important, but never forget that you are new.  You don’t know everything about the town, about the people init.  When it comes to local knowledge, they will know best.
  5. Business cards.  I’m about to order some myself.  Make sure they stand out.  If you’ve a twitter, make sure that’s on it.  An email address.  But keep it simple.  No one will ever read a 50 word summary of your thoughts on writing.  And you want them to listen to you, not read your business card for hours on end.

There are some more things to do, obviously, but I’d at least start with the above.  You never know, something might come of it.  I’ve just finished volunteering as stage manager at the Orpen Players, my village’s amateur dramatics group.  How did I manage that?  Points, 1,2,3,4. Remember, writing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If you want to start writing in a new town you should spread your wings and get out there.

Let me know if you have any top tips yourself.

Of course, if you’ve got here after looking at one of my business cards, please do have a look around… there’s a great post here on buying a calendar. No, really, it’s quite good…

Image credit: Pexels

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