Welcome to 2013. I know some people find it annoying how much pressure is placed on a new year to create a new start in your life, but I love the feeling of endless possibilities that a new year brings. This year, I decided I wanted to shake up my comforts and I have moved to Naples, Italy for 2 months, to write, walk and aupair.
So far the walking has been epic, the writing almost epic and the aupairing stressful. I didn’t realise how emotional children could be. One moment they are happily playing, giggling away at any little thing you do, the next they are red faced and crying at something you don’t understand (or at least I don’t because I don’t speak Italian.) It’s nice to be around things that are so delicate for a while, to remember how overwhelming life can feel before we can begin to understand it.
My new year’s resolution, (which I love to set myself, although I know some people hate them) was to write for at least one hour a day, and so far it’s going well. I’ve found that even the act of sitting in front of a blank screen for an hour, thinking about the possibilities of what I could write, has helped me come up with regular ideas for new short stories. Fingers crossed I can keep this up for a year and have a few more short stories and hopefully a first draft of a novel complete by December.
Something about Naples is inspiration enough to create new stories. The landscape is beautiful and always changing. You can be walking down a winding narrow street, covered in graffiti with cars lining the edge of the pavement, pass over a bridge that looks down on winding streets below, lines of washing hanging out on verandas with children’s toys scattering the concrete, then turn a corner and reach a wide open stretch that spans a view of the whole city, including the volcano and the coast line. Even if you don’t come to Naples to write, it’s a good city to clear your head. I feel like the mind dust of 2012 has been polished away by the beauty of the city.