During my years in graduate school and afterward, friends who knew I aspired to become a writer had advised me to seek out a big city on one of the coasts--New York, say, or San Francisco, Chicago or New Orleans, Seattle or Miami--some place that readers had heard about, some place where influential critics might tout my books, where I was likely to meet filmmakers at cocktail parties, where a cab ride could deliver me to television studios. And they also urged me to pull up stakes and move whenever I saw a chance for more prestige or more publicity.
My friends were probably right, if my ruling ambition were to make a name for myself. But my chief ambition, I discovered during our early years in Bloomington, was not to make a good career, but a good life. And such a life, as I came to understand it, meant being a husband and father first, and an employee second; it meant belonging to a place rather than to a profession; it meant being a citizen as well as an artist. --Scott Russell Sanders, "Hometown"