Nel Deserto Della Scrittura

I had a conversation last week with another writer and it went something like this: HIM: “It’s good to see that you’ve started to write again.” ME: “I never stopped writing.” HIM: “I assumed you had.” ME: “Why?” HIM: “Because you’ve been quiet.” ME: “That’s true. I have been quiet. But, thinking about it…”

So following on from my post, Where Have You Gone, I thought I’d explain further what I’ve been up to and why I’ve been quiet on the blog front.

As many of my readers know, I was living in Italy and working for Italy Magazine while also working as a freelancer. I enjoyed my time writing in Italy; some days however it was too hot to write. But as we all know, sometimes life can catch up with you when you least expect it, and before I knew it, I was working as an interpreter and selling real estate.

The magazine changed owners twice and in November 2016 my contract came up for renewal. The new owner wanted to reduce the pay rates, and the amount of copy from the staff writers to use cheap freelancers, and so I made the decision to leave and concentrate on fiction writing.

Well that was the plan…

I started initially slipping in and out of fiction and non fiction writing. I edited some pieces of short fiction I had worked on back in the UK, then it was time to embark on my next major project.

Being in Italy I assumed it would be easy to write a novel set there – no it wasn’t – I think I started to write a novel that I thought I should be writing. After months of research, planning and writing, I had six chapters written of Diamond Moon when I realised I was wasting my time.

I packed it away and months of non-writing followed.

The story just wouldn’t come. It was planned to the nth degree but the fluidity wasn’t there, neither the urge to write it. It’s the germ of a good novel/story so it’s now filed inside my Idea Generator

I think part of the reason for dropping off the writing wagon was the experience of living in a new country; relocating abroad takes up so much of your time and emotions. Also as mentioned already, the assumption that it would fuel a new direction for my writing came to nothing. Although Diamond Moon had elements of comedy it was essentially a crime novel and although a genre I enjoy reading I didn’t enjoy the writing.

Another reason for my neglect was the lack of like minded people in my social circle. Writing is essentially a solitary practice, but I believe all writers need some kind of sounding board; an editor or another writer. Back in the UK I had Renegade Writers, a brilliant writers’ group with an eclectic mix of members all of whom gave constructive feedback, advice and support. I missed this outlet for my work more than I thought I would.

Italy has many distractions

After seven years of distractions, work, play and more play it was a trip to the UK in October 2019 that kick-started my fiction writing and led to some changes that have sent my life on a different path. I now feel that I’m out of the writing wilderness, but I guess that’s a post yet to be written.

The view from my desk that was a source of distraction
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