Happy Easter! I’m spending this Easter weekend with my Italian family in Pisa. Easter in Italy, just like every major holiday, means especially lots of great food. My Aunt got up early this morning to cook enough food for a battalion of hungry soldiers. And she tells me ten times a day: “Ma tu non mangi!” Or: “Mangi poco!” (You don’t eat! You eat little!)
La Pasqua (Easter) is a much less family holiday than you might think. Many people use the holiday for a city break, and most people eat out. I’m really looking forward to La Pasquetta (Easter Monday, “Little Easter” in Italian). My aunt usually puts all that delicious food she’s been cooking for three days in baskets and in a portable fridge and the whole family enjoys a delicious picnic on the beach. This year the weather is gorgeous and we’re heading for Viareggio, a beautiful seaside resort just a short drive from Pisa. It’s not warm enough to swim yet (to me, the Mediterranean is freezing at this time of year) but my cousin is taking a dip anyway. A professional swimmer, four months pregnant, she says the baby needs to start training as soon as possible.
One of the things I love about spending Easter in Italy is the spirit of gratitude. For Italians, Easter is the time of year when they think about the good in their life and give thanks for it. I’m writing this post at a charming little street café, the sun is shining, and I’m thinking about everything I’m grateful for as a writer. There are so many things to celebrate but here’s my list of top five things I’m grateful for as a writer this Easter:
1. The incredible life I have designed for myself
I have been a full-time indie author for 6 years, and to me, this is the ultimate freedom. Creating on my terms, sharing the stories I encounter on my travels, having the ability to choose what I’m going to do today, tomorrow, next week or in a year. I have learned so much on this journey and when I look in the mirror, I see a different woman than I was before. The woman I see today is much more self-confident, much happier, more mature, and even more beautiful. The joy of doing what she loves every day of her life just radiates from her.
2. The community of amazing writers I adore
Writers are the most generous, loving and caring gang I’ve ever met. At least the writers I know. There’s no competition, we all want the others to make it. We know that every single writer has a different voice, a different style, a different way of creating, and as unique individuals we create the most amazing community in the world. Last year, when I lost myself and was afraid I would never write again, the support of my writer friends made a big difference. I continued to write thanks to them and for them.
3. My readers
Often I wake up in the morning to see new book sales or new reviews, or a loving e-mail from a fan, and I still can’t believe that people actually buy and read what I have written. I’m so honored and humbled by this experience. Through my books, my readers invite me to become part of their life, and knowing that I’m able to give them a bit of joy and light in return, is magic. Words can’t explain how grateful I am for my readers and how much I appreciate their support.
4. The Earth and its endless source of inspiration
Now that I spend most of my time in the Italian countryside, in the foothills of the Apennines, I fully realize how rich, abundant and giving this Earth is. The vibrant colors, the intoxicating smells of the seasons, the sounds. Being able to write and create surrounded by this lush piece of heaven is a privilege. Going back to my roots and reconnecting with who I truly am saved my soul and helped me understand the true, simple miracles of life.
5. Wild and Free Creativity
This new space I have created is my way of giving back. My life as a writer and artist has been so rewarding and I want every writer to experience the same bliss. I want us all to succeed, and I know I have so much experience and wisdom to share. Many of my writer friends have asked me in the last couple of months to create a course or a workshop, to teach, to guide, to encourage others. They felt my way of seeing and building writer’s life was unique, inspiring and empowering. And suddenly I felt there was something deep inside my soul that resonated with this calling. This is how Wild And Free Creativity was born.
There’s so much to come and I’m excited about and grateful for this journey of miracles. In the spirit of Italian Easter, what are YOU grateful for as a writer? Please leave a comment below and let’s spread some writer’s love. Every person who comments on this blog post will receive a gift from me: “How To Be Chique Like An Italian: 5 Happiness Secrets of Italian Women“. This little e-book is a dangerously hilarious little tomboy, so get ready for some Italian fun! :) (And please don’t forget to add your e-mail address so that I know where to send it.)