The Portable Career

As most of you know, I moved to Florida this summer.Β  In reality, I’ve been on the road since Christmas of 2013. (In between I’ve been temporarily parked at my parents’ house–my new place is *still* mid-renovation.)

Cities I Visited in the Last 12 Months (in chronological order):

The Traveling MermaidCharleston SC
Baltimore MD
Williamsburg VA
Leesburg VA
Abingdon VA
Tampa FL
Charlottesville VA
Arlington VA
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Charlotte NC
Titusville FL (the big move)
Rochester NY
New York NY
San Antonio TX
Atlanta GA
Burlington VT
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Ft. Lauderdale FL
…and then Charleston SC again this December, to come full circle.

For those counting, that’s nine states and two provinces. (It’s also very possible I skipped something in there.) Yes, I am definitely one very well-traveled Mermaid (and I’m not the only one…I know Denny Mermaid in particular tends to jet set at least as much as I do, if not more!).

We always say the great thing about writing for a living is the ability to work anywhere. Where our brains go, our stories go. It’s a blessing, right?

Right. And also a curse.

It’s so nice to have a writing nook and a schedule, to sit down on your favorite chair with a hot cup of tea and just write until…well, until. But when you’re just coming home and/or just about to leave again, it’s tough to find that zen. Writers on the road end up in coffee shops and restaurants and kitchen tables and basements and hotel lobbies and airports and hospitals andΒ  chairs on sandy beaches. They write on laptops and notebooks and legal pads and post-its and postcards and Starbucks receipts.

Having a Portable Career is a bit of a Trial By Fire, and ultimately a talent I’m glad I’ve been able to cultivate. But I do still long for My Own Spot in My Own Space. One day…hopefully soon…

So — my question for the lagoon today is: Where is the strangest place YOU have ever gotten work done?


And be sure to check back here on Friday for Alethea & Carlene’s Extra Special Bi-Coastal Mermaid post…with pictures!

9 thoughts on “The Portable Career

  1. Great post, Alethea. That’s an impressive list. Writing on my iPhone means that I truly have a portable career. I can whip out my iPhone anytime and anywhere and jot a few words or revise a couple sentences. And I do. In the carpool line, at piano lessons, at gymnastics lessons, at swim lessons, in the hallway at my kids’ school, on the couch at a friend’s house, on the guest bed at my parent’s house, on airplanes, in trains, in coffee shops, in restaurants, at doctor’s offices, on a sandy beach, on a bench at the Chicago Navy Pier, at a picnic table in the French countryside. I love it.
    But you’re right. The best place for me to write is still my armchair at home. I hope you settle in and find your routine soon!

  2. Alethea, you need to come out here to San Diego for Comic Con in 2015!
    Pintip, on your phone? You’re my hero!
    Bethany. Awesome. πŸ˜‰
    Strangest place I ever wrote? Hmm, I guess that would be the parking lot of my local grocery store just before the stroke of midnight. The lighting is actually really great if you park in just the right spot and you can hear the most interesting sounds, even if your windows are only just barely cracked.
    See you back here on Friday!

    1. I wish! Maybe ComicCon 2016…
      And now I’m worried about you, alone in your car, writing in empty parking lots at midnight. CARLENE!

  3. I wrote the last 8k of a story I had to turn in while at Niagra Falls for Spring break with the kiddos. I have to add that I had a double ear infection in which both ears perforated. I was so sick. A large quantity of medication induced a writing frenzy. Miraculously, it didn’t suck….much.

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