OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
So I am flying today, back from Brisbane to London to start the next phase of my life. (Warning: personal post!) It feels like a big move this time, although we don't know how long we will stay. It will be a few years at least. The house is empty, we only have a few bags left after selling or giving away most of our things. I am embracing freedom again!
I left London in May 2000 so it's almost exactly 11 years that I've been away. At the time, I was sick of the big city, long working hours and immersed in a drinking culture that was damaging my health. I didn't have the resources to cope with that at 25, so I went and sat in the Australian outback for a few months, before going to Sydney Olympics, learning to scuba dive and then falling in love down under.
I've been in Brisbane for 4 years and before that was in New Zealand for 7 years and a lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge in that time. I'm ready to go back now, a very different person at 36 with specific focus and a different take on living the city life.
One of the biggest changes over the last few years has been realizing my love of writing, and my publishing adventures. Starting this site has been instrumental in so much opportunity, and also part of the reason to move back. Thank you for being part of this writing journey and don't worry, the site isn't going anywhere! The internet means I can be anywhere and so can you. Certainly you will have the benefit of some new literary experiences, videos from more exotic locations and my passion for writing-related-travel being indulged!
So why the move? I talked before about the concept of home for writers and I guess that cuts to the heart of it. When I was writing Pentecost, I researched early Christian history as well as the European churches that feature in the book. I spent hours on Flickr looking at photos to re-immerse myself in cultures I have been away from for too long. I have been back to Europe a lot in 11 years and travelled all over the place but kept returning here. While writing, I found myself increasingly drawn back to European history, to Israel and the middle east as well as other places in the Northern Hemisphere. I also want to travel to the US again and it is just too far and expensive from here but I could potentially be in NYC for the weekend from London!
When I started to think about the sequel, Prophecy, earlier this year, I found myself longing for more Euro-travel, more research trips and to be there in person. I also really don't like being called an “Australian” author! Although I think Australia is an awesome country full of great people, I don't identify as Australian. I am English and I am also a Kiwi (I have a New Zealand passport as well). I am ready to work in London again and I have opportunities for the day job, and my husband also has some great possibilities. We have so many plans for the places we will go!
You can tell I am a travel junkie, and perhaps a persistent mover as well. I never stay in the same place very long, so don't expect the move to London to be for too long! Currently the plan is to live in either London or Oxford, depending on the day job situation. It's just coming into summer in England so we should acclimatise. Amusingly, I have to listen to rain on my iPod in order to get into the writing zone. There should be more rainy days back in Blighty so I shouldn't need that anymore!
So the next month or so will involve starting a new life. There are lots of great posts scheduled on the blog so keep on coming back and I will also be doing a mini-relaunch of Pentecost on June 12th (Pentecost Sunday) so watch out for that.
I will definitely be more sporadic in responding to email, comments, Facebook and Twitter for the next few weeks given random internet access until we are settled, but normal service will resume by end of June.
I will also be looking for a new physical network of writers and bloggers in the UK once I am settled, so please do let me know in the comments if you are already part of anything I can look to join, or if you are keen to have a tweet-up July/August.
So bye bye Australia! It's been awesome and no doubt I'll be back sometime in another guise. Until then, it's off to Blighty 🙂