Sunday, November 10, 2013

Are you a writer moving abroad?

Recently one of Writer Abroad’s fellow writing bloggers e-mailed her with a bunch of questions about moving abroad. They were really great questions, so Writer Abroad thought she’d post some of them here to help other writers considering moving abroad.

Are there rules that would prevent me from working for freelance clients in the UK while on a spousal visa?

Probably. But Writer Abroad can’t speak about specifics regarding permits and work in other countries. Every country is different and within each country there are very different rules depending on the type of permit you receive. Writer Abroad recommends you do your research so you know exactly what to expect before you arrive.

Have you found that clients in Switzerland are pretty receptive to working with you or do they prefer working with locals?

Clients in Switzerland are very receptive to working with Writer Abroad, but that is because English writing is practically a requirement for businesses everywhere in the world these days and Writer Abroad has a skill the locals don’t. She’s not sure if it would be as easy to find writing work in an English speaking country as a foreigner. But Writer Abroad believes that whatever you want to do, you will make it possible. 

Should I tell current US clients that I am moving abroad or should I not tell them right away? I don’t want them to get hung up on the potential barriers of working with an expat and decide to end the relationship.

You're right to be concerned; some Americans (family included!) are very resistant to mailing or calling overseas. Something about it scares them or makes them think it's too much work. You can get yourself a US-based Skype number so clients don’t know (or don’t feel) like they are calling abroad, but there is still the time difference to deal with.

Before she moved to Switzerland, Writer Abroad told the alt weekly she was writing for that she was moving. And she wrote for them for another couple of months after moving abroad, but honestly, the distance did make a difference—on both sides. That being said, Writer Abroad writes for publications around the world now, and a unique location can be an advantage for certain kinds of writing—especially travel writing. Also, if you are living in an expensive part of the world like Zurich or London, where the dollar isn’t worth as much as the local currency, you may find yourself naturally seeking out local opportunities if your permit allows it.

Anyone else have questions (or answers) about living abroad as a writer?


  1. This is the situation i am currently.

  2. Interesting to read! A challenge can be moving as a trailing spouse - to a country where you can not work (for money) ... only for fun:-) Me in a nutshell right now:-) Glad I found this blog:-)

  3. I loathe Moving too, but at the same time I get really anxious and excited to go explore the new beginning at the new hood. I think once all the packing, organizing, storage and finally unloading, are all too troublesome. However, all that hard work will definitely pay off once everyone has started settling in at the new house.

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