On Moving to London and Writing

A hard-to-categorise post, an outpouring of thoughts, my need to write. And a bit about moving to London. 

I’m not the first person to move to London to seek their fortune, and I certainly won’t be the last. Ever since Dick Whittington slung his posessions over his shoulder and made for the streets paved with gold, people have flocked to this city.

The fortune I’ve come for is not necessarily monetary – though as any struggling creative-type will tell you, a little of that wouldn’t go amiss – rather, I’m in search of new opportunities. London has more of, well, everything, than anywhere else in the country. More variety, more noise. It has history in spades, sitting comfortably alongside the fast-paced, glass-fronted modernity.

Moving to London

St. Paul’s Cathedral and its reflection in the shiny glass of the One New Change Shopping Centre.

I love walking through London, discovering hidden corners just off streets I know well, finding places of peace in the busy centre, or searching out a busy hub. Funnily enough, it’s the latter I seek to write – there is something about a hum of background noise and a creative venue which seems to help me focus.

My favourite place of all to write is the Southbank Centre, and in fact, that’s where I am now, working to the sound of chatter in a dozen different languages, occasionally looking up to see how the setting-up of a Mexican fair is coming along, just below me in the Clore Ballroom. A couple of men are sawing and nailing pieces of wood together, and a Spanish-speaking contingent has arrived to direct proceedings. It’s raining outside, so the bright lights and warmth are attracting passers-by like bees to a honey-pot. Still, the vastness of the place swallows them up, and I can sit here for as long as I like, undisturbed and unhurried, supplementing my green tea with a free glass of water.

Unusually, I am feeling a little out of my depth here, but that might be because I decided a week ago to move to London, jobless and homeless. And that appears to be what I’ve actually done. Fortunately, I have lovely friends who are putting me up, and the search for a nice place to live, somewhere I can really call home, has fortunately gone more smoothly than I thought possible.

So now, the focus has become the job. And in the midst of my frantic hunt, I have realised something which long ago should have been obvious, but which I didn’t have the courage to admit. It all comes back to being here, in the Southbank Centre. I want to be a writer. It is such a simple statement, but as I have been to interviews and registered with agencies, propelled forward by the sight of the Big Issue sellers on so many of London’s streets and an urgent desire not to join their ranks, something inside me has resisted, protested, cried out that it is all wrong. I want to write.

Writing tools

Ingredients for writing: pen, paper and tea.

I have never been more grateful to have a blog – and though this post is incredibly introspective and not particularly travel-related, other than the vague London theme – to have a place to write is so very valuable to me. Even if it doesn’t pay the rent at the moment, Even if I have to do something else to pay the bills for a while, I have found my calling. On paper, on screen, wherever, I just need to write.

London, as a place to be and write, serves my needs particularly well. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, whether this city will settle my nomadic instincts for a while (I doubt anything could do that, really), whether I’ll find the fortune I seek, but I do know that I feel at home here. Whatever happens, I have discovered what it is I really love doing, and I am going to follow this dream with all the determination I possess.



  1. Hi – And Welcome to London! Good to have more fellow travel bloggers in the City 🙂 I also moved over here for all the opportunities this city offers and don’t regret it at all. I’m sure you’ll quickly find something to sort-of settle for a while. Plus, I also think London is a great scenery to get creative, you’ll see!
    Katherina recently posted..Lessons My Opa Taught Me about TravelMy Profile

  2. I am absolutely thrilled to pieces for you, my brave, daring, wonderfully talented friend. 🙂 Isn’t it a glorious thing to finally pinpoint what makes our hearts SING?! I can’t wait to see your dreams unfold and come to pass. 🙂 I’m especially glad that you are writing here again. I love your words and thoughts and reading your post this morning gave me a much-needed jolt of YES, it IS worth working towards doing what we love and making a living at it. 🙂 Cheering for you, hoping goodness and opportunity for you, and here if you need anything at all. 🙂 XOXO

  3. Hi there and welcome to London. I also recently moved to the big smoke and can’t get enough of everything it has to offer! I blog about places to wine and dine so take a look if you’re ever in need of inspiration.

    I also work at http://www.triptease.com and I’d love it if you could join the community and start posting about your travels (particularly anywhere you discover in London since that is where our focus is at the moment). You can link straight back to your site and it could be a good way to reach new audiences and drive traffic.

    Do let me know what you think, it would be a great help.


    • Thanks for stopping by, Ella! I will certainly take a look at your blog and triptease 🙂

  4. Hi there! I know you posted this a while back, but I’d love to hear how it’s all working out for you.

    I’ve seemingly followed your footsteps, though I’ve moved to London from a little further afield (Australia). I’ve already written a bunch since arriving, and I hope to progress to a more professional role.

    • Hi Jake,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! It’s good to hear from others in a similar position! I hope you’re settling into London ok. My life has actually been pretty flighty since I wrote this post – thankfully my freelance writing career has taken off, but I actually left London in favour of Portugal, where I’ve been for the last few months! But London was the place which kick-started it all, and I love the city, so I hope you enjoy it. Good luck with your writing! What sort of writing do you do?


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