The below is a re-posting of a interesting MyLife Blog post article by on the best cities to be a writer. At the bottom of the post there is a chart of all 100 cities evaluated.
When you see people walk by, do you create a narrative in your head of what they might be talking about? Or invent the life story of the hamburger you’re eating? Then you might be a writer.
But it’s difficult to thrive as such in just any city – your surroundings have be inspiring, and you need to be able to find work until you pen the next great American novel. To help authors determine what city best makes a great writer, we did an analysis using criteria we thought would help find the best of the best.
Here’s How We Ranked ThemWe started with a list of the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. and ranked them from one to 100 in each of the following categories:
- Cost of Living – We’re not all Stephen King; most writers don’t have a lot of disposable income so it’s good to know which cities are affordable. We sourced Area Vibes for this information.
- Writer Job Openings – In order to secure some of that disposable income, a writer needs a job. This only included jobs as a writer, not jobs that listed “writing skills” in the requirements. These positions were found on the job search engine, Indeed.
- Percentage of Population Working in the Arts - Writing is certainly an art, and the more people in a city with the same ambitions as you can be a great source of inspiration. There’s also a better than normal chance their inspiring work will be featured around the city. And the more of these folks there are to meet, the easier it will be to collaborate and grow as a writer. Figures for this were from the U.S. Census.
- Number of Bookstores/Coffee Shops Per Capita – Obviously, writers love reading, and hate Kindles and iPads. Nothing beats holding an actual book in your hands. And there’s just something about the mix of caffeine and people watching that gets the creative juices flowing. This set of data was found on Yelp.
1. St. Louis, MOThe Gateway to the West, St. Louis ranked no worse than 26th in every category; that consistency vaulted them to number one on our list. STL ranked 11th in the percentage of population working in the industry category, and Dunaway Books helped it rank 14th in number of bookstores and coffeeshops.
2. Cincinnati, OHNothing like killing two birds with one stone as Kaldi’s Coffehouse and Bookstore does, which helped Cincinnati rank second overall. The Blue Chip city ranked 15th in that category, and ranked no worse than 26th everywhere else.
3. Pittsburgh, PA
4. Atlanta, GA
5. Orlando, FL
6. Minneapolis, MN
The bookstore pictured, creatively named in reference to “Where the Wild Things Are,” helped Minneapolis rank seventh in number of bookstores and coffee shops category. They were able to rank in the top ten in percentage of the population working in the industry as well.
7. Buffalo, NYBuffalo didn’t crack the top 30 in three of the categories, but used a number one ranking in cost of living to sneak into the top ten. The Young Writers Studio is molding aspiring writers to enhance their skills in the craft.
8. Denver, COThere is certainly no shortage of inspiration in the Mile High city; the mountains are good for a lot of things, and one of them is curing writers block. Denver ranked in the top 25 in three categories, including 11th in the number of bookstores and coffee shops, such as ink! Coffee.
9. Seattle, WACreativity bursts at the seams in the Emerald City. Seattle has the most coffee shops and bookstores of all cities on this list, which is no surprise. But it also ranked tenth in percentage of population working in the industry, as demonstrated by the self-employed man pictured above, who writes poems for patrons at the Fremont Flea Market.
10. San Francisco, CA
Where’s New York City and Los Angeles?Although there are several cities for writers to thrive, many might wonder why well-regarded cities like New York or Los Angeles didn’t rank better. If you want to be a screenwriter or playwright, this ranking may not be for you, as there are probably more jobs in screenwriting and playwriting in both of those cities.
But if your focus is more general and you just want to write, this analysis will make more sense, which knocked down those cities for extremely high cost of living and average scores in the other categories.