Writers: Pursuing dreams & fighting doubt

Anything worth pursuing is scary. Half of the dream is fighting the doubt.”

Tracey Ellis-Haynes, Artist

I am a dreamer and I always have been. My “bucket list” is long and I often hear myself say, “Someday I wish I could…” But what happens when “someday” is staring you in the face?

In 1999, a dream was born on my Italian honeymoon: “Someday I wish I could live in Italy.” The love affair I developed with Italy was so strong that it inspired me to write two romance novels. Then, in the summer of 2016, “someday” arrived. Newly divorced, 52 years old, working part-time and living with my mom, I decided to live in Italy. (“If not now, when?” I asked myself.) I found a two-month housesitting/dog-sitting assignment in Vicenza, Italy and off I went.


Of course I loved the coffee, pasta, pizza, chimg_6132eese, and wine; the friendly people; the easy train rides to Venice, Milan, Lake Garda, Padua and Verona; and the abundance of art and history at every corner. Yes, Italy was magical.


I knew no one in Vicenza. It was hot (July and August) and I didn’t have air-conditioning. My wallet (passport, cash, credit cards and US driver’s license) was stolen by pickpockets in Venice. I fell in love and out of love more times than is explainable in a blog post. (A future novel, I predict.) I had language barriers…and my apartment building had a bug problem!

Many days I doubted myself (like I’m prone to do about things, including writing). So I had to decide that I didn’t want to be a dreamer, but a doer. I had to persevere and push through the challenges. The question I asked myself that kept me going was this:

“Will I be able to live with myself and the regret if I don’t pursue this dream?”

“No.” My answer was clearly “no.” So I found courage and strength and I pushed through the doubt. Guess what? I didn’t go home at the end of the two-month assignment. I’m still here nearly five months later.

I’m working on my third novel “Behind Her Smile.” I’m figuring out problems with my plot, the dialogue and the character development. A few weeks ago, I realized that writing this book is like living in Italy. Daily, I face new challenges and problems to solve. It’s not easy! It’s work! But I have another story to tell. It’s my dream and I know it’s worth the fight.

“Will I be able to live with myself and the regret if I don’t write this book?”



5 thoughts on “Writers: Pursuing dreams & fighting doubt

  1. We enjoyed this article. We are currently in Sicily. We began our courtship in Venice on 26/02/2015 and returned there last year for our anniversary. Hope to read more of your adventures. DL


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