Last Saturday I flew out of Los Angeles to begin a three week vacation to the midwest. Spread between Kansas and Ohio, my trip will take me to many places from my youth, a kind of step back in time to escape the hustle bustle of the big city. In the last few months I have been wondering if someday soon I should leave Los Angeles, and never return.
I seek to make my living off writing, writing scripts, novels, articles and so forth. The good thing about that of course is you can do that just about anywhere. Stephen King for example, one of my heroes of the printed word, made his living in Maine, a state there’s pretty much nothing in save its aesthetic beauty.
I’ve taken a few trips back to the bread basket since moving to California, and increasingly I’ve noticed something rather odd about my returning trips. I don’t enjoy getting off the plane. That’s not the way someone should feel when coming back from a trip. Everyone should enjoy the feeling of going home and walking through their front door again.
These last two and a half years have certainly been an adventure. I dined with Steven Spielberg’s mother, met one of my personal heroes with John Carpenter, saw many sights, met many friends, and have matured greatly in my artistic skill. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, except maybe those few months I shared an apartment with someone addicted to meth. But the city is a lot louder than I’m used to. Things that were non issues in my neck of the woods like traffic and pollution are every day occurrences here, and looking up at the monoliths of concrete and steel feels less like gazing upon fame and fortune, and more like peering out through the bars of a prison.
Does this mean I’m giving up? No. As said before, I can write anywhere, even if it’s between Kansas and Ohio. But has a final decision been made? Not yet. I’ve got many duties to take care of down in Los Angeles before relocation is something I’d consider. I have a short film to finish for one, and need to see if some opportunities pan out as far as my career goes. Maybe those things will help me move into another place, see more parts of the city that I love, and finally ground me as an West Coast guy. You never know.
In the meantime, I at least have a plan B. A friend has already generously made the offer to let me move in with him, back to a land of cheaper rents and more meager stresses. Going back to the Buckeye State may be exactly what it takes to kick my writing into gear. The pressures of Los Angeles often leave me feeling like typing is a time waster. You should never feel that way about your art.