Not long ago, I changed the tagline of Ciao Amalfi from “Savoring Daily Life on Italy’s Amalfi Coast” to “A Writing Life on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.” This small change reflects a significant shift within myself, one that has been happening so gradually over the past four and half years that I had hardly even noticed.

View of Ravello from Scala

Life in a new country is all about savoring.

As you look around and absorb your new home—slowly finding your own place and how you fit in—all you can do is enjoy the flavors of new foods, struggle your way through understanding a new language and discover the beauty of another landscape. Such a dramatic change of scenery takes time to absorb, and even more time to begin to see how it has changed you.

As I struggled to find my way in the world of freelance writing two years ago, I brought the daily act of writing into my life in a new way – work. It has been a challenging and rewarding experience, but let’s just say that some days have been better than others. Over time, however, the good days have far outnumbered the difficult days. Along the way, something unexpected happened. Writing became a part of my daily life, something essential to be savored and crafted, much like cooking dinner each night.

Since this past summer I’ve been pursuing some other projects that have kept me away from home and all those daily habits. This time away has allowed me to reflect on where exactly my passions lie and what I need to do to pursue them. The biggest hole I have felt over the past summer is the loss of my writing time each day.

Old Stone Building on the Amalfi Coast

Just as I’ve been discovering the depth of my passion for writing, this morning brought me a perfectly timed treasure of inspiration from Diana Strinati Baur at A Certain Simplicity, as she shared about the experience of writing her novel and the decisions we make each day to pursue our passions.

Decide to do. Forget about trying. Just do it. Give it your heart and soul and mind and time, whatever it is.  – Diana Strinati Baur from Decide

So what is it for me?

To write and publish the novel with my mother.

There it is in all its simplicity and complexity – the thing that I am giving my heart and soul and mind and time to. Over the past months I have been slowly pulling away from the commitments that keep me away from my writing desk. I’m making decisions and changes with one thing in mind – the novel. It’s time. I’ve felt it coming for many months now, but it is finally time to be done with the trying and get busy with the doing. I am grateful every day to have such a passionate and inspirational companion to share this creative journey with – my mother.

If you are in the process of working toward a goal or passion, wherever your creativity may lie, I recommend reading Diana’s post called Decide. It is a gift of inspiration that I know I will return to again and again. I look forward to sharing our writing adventures with you, and I hope you will share your creative journey, too!

16 Comments
  • Love it, Laura; best of luck to you as you continue down your writing path 🙂

    October 9, 2011
  • Grazie mille Laura, you’ve made my day! I hope that you have a wonderful time scheming and creating and seeing where your characters take you. It’s such a fantastic process.I look forward to following your progress.

    October 9, 2011
  • Denise

    Laura, I wish you all the best and will be anxious to read that movel! We’ve had a perfect week here in Amalfi, and it is so easy to understand how you have fallen in love with the city and the area. It is such a peaceful place, I’ve found. I am sad that we will leave tomorrow morning, but hope that we can return to Amalfi one day soon! Thank you for all of your great recommendations, Denise

    October 9, 2011
  • Cathy

    Laura,
    That is such a good way to describe Diana’s post – ‘a gift of inspiration’. All the best for your novel writing.

    October 9, 2011
  • Sandra

    Alright, Laura….time for commitment …time for action. You and Me full steam ahead! We CAN do this!!!

    October 10, 2011
  • Brava! It’s going to be a great novel because you’re a great writer – and because you’ll invest your heart in it. Go. Write!

    October 12, 2011
  • Diana’s advice sounds excellent.

    October 13, 2011
  • Laura, I read that post and it inspired me too-she has such a way with words that really hits home every time, but I am glad that it inspired you to follow your dream of writing a novel…I look forward to reading it!

    October 16, 2011

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