The first time I went to Italy, at 28, I fell in love with Rome, and of all the streets and squares, I fell in love with Fontana di Trevi, The Trevi Fountain, which is the most beautiful fountain in the world, well, if you ask me! It is said to make your wishes come true if you throw a coin in it, or to bring you back to Rome again. I – being sure that I’d be back to Rome, because clearly Rome and I were in a romantic relationship now – threw a coin and wished for my only dream: for my novel to be published, the story I had been writing about an Italian family since forever.
Guess what? My wish came true. Seems the magical Fontana did work, however it did not work as I hoped.
Not. Even. A bit!
12 years later when I visited Rome again, with my published novel in my hand, I spent hours sitting in front of Fontana di Trevi and wondered ‘what did I do wrong?’ I had a book in my hand, a book I had written in my second language, and it was a dream come true, but nothing in it looked like my dream. My book was published, but no body had read it; in my country people didn’t read English books, and I didn’t have access to the outside world to people who read English books! And here I was with a book in my hand which felt as useless as the Greek or Roman God sitting at this magnificent fountain, because I had made the wrong wish at the first place…
I stared at the fountain for hours, and no, I didn’t make another wish. This one still had work to do! I simply decided to start over. I had worked four years on this book, and made mistake after mistake. It was time to go back to square one and restart everything.
And by everything, I mean EVERYTHING!
This is one of my first steps: writing about this presumably easy job of writing. It sounds easy. Just start today and you will agree with that humorous quote which says ‘Writing is like riding a bike, except you’re on fire, and the bike is on fire, and the whole world is on fire…’
And yes, you’re in hell!
We’ll write more about writing stories and books here! Stay tuned!