‘Is there something you’ve always wanted to try?’ the man on the video asks. ‘Try it for the next 30 days.’
I am watching a video on setting and, more importantly, achieving goals and it turns out that 30 days is just about the right amount of time you need to form a new habit. ‘Have you ever wanted to write a novel?’ he continues. Well, not really a novel but I have always wanted to write. Over the years, I have dabbled in creative writing, travel writing, poetry and now a blog. Apparently, every November, people everywhere try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I know I can’t complete what I want to do in either 30 days or 50,000 words but what I can do is to use this challenge to make a start, to focus me, to write instead of talking about writing.
So, for the whole of November I wrote my 50,000 words (a first draft of course) and now I just need to write the rest. The book: well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? How my childhood fascination with my short, stocky Italian grandmother living in a flat in Croydon led to a lifetime infatuation with a country, its behaviours and habits and those of its inhabitants; how, after many false starts and dead ends, I, with my husband have infiltrated a rural community in the northern hills of Tuscany and renovated a rustic farmhouse under the watchful and approving eye of our neighbours; how the ordinary of their lives becomes the extraordinary of ours and with their acceptance and welcoming, we start to grow into Italian versions of our former selves.
Have I just written the book jacket? I’d better get on with the rest.