Traveling Tech Writers (was Too Old?)

Subject: Traveling Tech Writers (was Too Old?)
From: "Dori Green" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2006 13:59:39 -0500

Several years ago I had firm plans to become a traveling tech writer, even
bought myself a cute little Fan camper for $400 and put a hitch on my
station wagon.

Then I discovered the joys of rented rooms and intentional communities.

In the middle of Plainfield, NJ I enjoyed a huge second floor room with two
walk-in closets in a mansion on three acres. We had to use the narrow nasty
back "servants' stairs" when the fully-furnished Victorian downstairs was
being rented out for a corporate event or soap opera shoot, but otherwise
unrestricted use of the place (including the gourmet kitchen) made up for
that. $600 per month included heat, electric, and cable TV. Equivalent
rent for a one-bedroom apartment was at least twice the price (plus
utilities). Fellow tenants were an eclectic and interesting bunch -- a
total of seven of us when the place was full.

On Staten Island there is usually room at the Ganas intentional community.
$710/mo. includes a private room with sharing privileges for laundry,
exercise rooms, TV and computer rooms, small stocked kitchens for breakfast
or snacks, AND food with supper every night prepared by some really great
chefs. It's walking distance from the ferry.

Couldn't rent a camper parking space for those prices, and I wasn't troubled
by The Lonelies although I usually had privacy when I wanted it.

Finding such places takes perseverance, guts, and more than a little luck.
But they do exist. After a day of writing in isolation, I really enjoy
contact with people -- but I do admit that such arrangements aren't for
everybody. The Plainfield house was almost a mile from the bus stop and
this became an issue when my car died a week after accepting the job -- but
there _was_ a bus. I lost a bunch of weight while accumulating the down
payment for another car. This gig came right on top of a long dry spell;
I'd advise other traveling tech writers to keep an emergency fund for
similar surprises.

I still have the camper, and now I drive a small pickup truck (also with a
hitch). I'd need a bigger truck if I chose to seriously travel with the
camper, c'est la vie. Could if I wanted to, which is sometimes very
comforting although now I am deliriously happy and ready to stay put for a
long time.

If anybody is interested in more information about temporary stays at
intentional communities, see the website of the Fellowship for Intentional
Community, http://www.fic.org .

Dori Green

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References:
Re: Too old?: From: John Posada

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