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March 7, 2008 by Tracey S. Rosenberg

I suppose everyone has crutches, emotional ones, or maybe it’s more appropriate to say ‘a wish list of things which, if I only had them, would turn me into that brilliant writer I know I can be.’

– Office space far from the shrieks of small children setting themselves on fire. (At least, that’s what it always sounds like to me.)

– A laptop that doesn’t have to stop and ponder its own existence every time you try to scroll down.

– A laser printer instead of one that goes da-thunk-da-thunk-da-thunk.

– A thriving cultural community where you can hardly close the door of your loft behind you without falling over three performance artists exploring the fall of the Holy Roman Empire through a combination of interpretive dance and the tape-recorded sounds of mating hornswoggles.

This article in the New York Times (you may need to be logged in to see it) by Colson Whitehead, titled ‘I Write in Brooklyn. Get Over It’, discusses the hype of being a writer in Brooklyn. Whitehead certainly made me feel better for not living in Brooklyn (or anywhere else that could be described as ‘the place to be’) (apart from the fact that I be here), but after getting past all the in-jokes about Manhattan – which I am not hip enough to get, helas – the best comments are the straightforward ones, viz.:

A lot of my writer friends live near me, and that makes people think we just hang around with one another in cafes, trading work and discussing Harper’s and what not. But I rarely see them. We’re home working. […] you’d have to be a bit dense to confuse a geographical and economic accident with an aesthetic movement, no matter how sick you are of hearing about how green the grass is over here, no matter how much you long for that nurturing Elysium of your dreams.

What’s it like to be a writer in Brooklyn? It’s hard. The way it is everywhere.


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Photo credit: Rahima Subhan

Tiny bio

I live, work, and write in Edinburgh. I travel to other places as much as I can. To contact me, email writingmostly at gmail dot com.


CURRENTLY READING: The Ginseng Hunter by Jeff Talarigo.

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