Skyline of Pine Trees at Sunset
in the Villa Borghese Park, Rome, Italy
Writing friends ask me if my writing has changed since I've been living in Italy. While I've been writing while doing other things, as I was in the U.S., I think there's been a small shift in my bravery.
Distance makes a difference -- I am having new conversations, seeing new things and changing my routine, which feels refreshing. I'm closer to loved ones whom I've missed for over a decade, while now missing my loved ones back in the States.
The newest, terrifying element of living abroad this time is the U.S. continuing to spiral out of control. I've been writing more directly - motherhood and our nation's deteriorating state add urgency to my creative work. This is all to say that I've been feeling braver about the necessity of using my voice.
The last year, I drafted more essays and children's picture books than poetry. I spent a lot of time playing with these forms and learning in the process. Thanks to some space and time at the DC Writers Room, I was able to do that. Most pieces felt unfinished and I didn't submit as often. I felt more like a student, which is is a healthy part of growing as a writer.
Since moving, I've been editing and submitting more. Becoming a Signora, was written, submitted and published quickly. I've completed some necessary edits and have been submitting my poetry manuscript. I've also turned my attention back to some stalled projects. This is all a part of that bravery.
I'm sending you, dear reader, bravery for your own work. Whether you are working on a particular project or free writing for discovery, do so with the confidence. You voice matters. What you learn from the writing process matters.
You don't have to show every draft to readers, but please keep writing. With edits and revisions, you'll arrive at a piece that you just might want to share with the world. We'll be here to read it when you are ready.