Cary Tennis – Musings on the Writer’s Life & Moving to Italy

How do you survive as a creative in a world seemingly stacked against it? I had the chance to talk to Cary Tennis, author and columnist, about finding your way in life as a creative. I first met Cary via As an advice columnist, he spent 12 years advising millions of readers on love and life – thoughtfully, and through the lens of a creative. As writers, performers, musicians and creatives – or those who want to forge their own path through life and not follow the crowd, we often seek reassurance that we’re on the right path. In Cary’s advice column, he always responded in a wise, considered and writerly way about the problems we all face.

In Cary’s book, Citizens of the Dream, he writes: “The idea behind the title “Citizens of the Dream” is that as creative people we live in our own country with its own physics and history, its own atmospheres and rivers its own maps. It is a strange country but it is where we belong. It is our country. When we try to live in “the real world” the way we think we’re supposed to then we become unhappy. We do not know why we are so unhappy living in the real world because we figure we ought to be able to live in it just like other people. But we are different. We are citizens of the dream. And we might as well accept that we’re different and set about establishing a way of living that meets our particular needs.”

Cary and I talk about living as a creative, the challenges and opportunities and how he made his way.

Cary Tennis is a well-known San Francisco writer and advice columnist for who moved from San Francisco to the Tuscan town of Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy, in 2015. He is co-author of the book Finishing School: The Happy Ending to that Writing Project You Can’t Seem to Get Done, to be published by Tarcher/Penguin Books in fall 2016. His previous books include the collection of advice on creativity, Citizens of the Dream, and the best-of collection of his columns, Since You Asked.

In keeping with his belief that we should finish the things we start, he is also busy finishing his novel, Famous Actress Disappears, a semi-metafictional, occasionally auto-fictional work of fiction about a punk runaway who becomes America’s biggest sitcom star. He is also happy to report that the online literary magazine Brevity recently published the strangest piece he’s ever written, called “Memory Palace, Visit No. 3.”


For more information about Cary & his writing retreats go to, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube

Click here for the transcript of the Podcast –  Cary Tennis – Musings on the Writer’s Life & Moving to Italy

Want to attend one of Cary’s incredible writing retreats in Tuscany? Take life-changing workshops in breathtaking places here.

For updates on Finishing School – Facebook & to take the Finishing School Workshop.


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