Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Focusing more

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I am enjoying my time sitting in cafés and writing this weekend. Part of my separateness from others is not by choice and part of it is. I could easily fill my day seeing other people, but I prefer to be alone. Before arriving in Paris, I contemplated staying in Florence this weekend instead, but I knew that it would be better for me to spend some time alone in Paris. I thought it would be good for me to focus on my writing projects. I felt a need to drop down inside of me, listen to my inner voice, and simply write.

I was so enthusiastic about my time alone in Paris this weekend that I found a writer’s group that met up today. I found it while I was at the airport in Florence surfing the Internet. The meeting was in one of the writer’s apartments behind Montmartre. It was nice to meet other writers, discuss writing, and hear about what others are working on. It gave me some perspective into my own writing life.

I completed my first novel in December 2010 and set it aside initially out of necessity. Then, it began to be a habit: I wasn’t able to find the right balance between my writing life and my work life. Recently, I’ve been feeling a desire to achieve the right balance between the two so that I can complete my novel. I hate leaving things unfinished because they weigh heavily on me.

Funnily enough, my novel is based in Paris. When I was writing it, I had no idea that I would come back to Paris for work or for any extended period of time. I wrote about the Paris I knew when I lived here from 1990-1995. It wasn’t until six weeks after I completed my novel that I was offered my current job in Paris.

I don’t believe in coincidences, so I’m taking the reason that I’m in Paris is to work on my novel. I’ve done a lot of research and taken some notes this past year and a half, but now it’s time to focus on writing the second draft of my novel. Because I’m attending a writer’s conference at the end of the month, I am even more motivated to focus and accomplish my goal.

I’m grateful not only grateful that I live in my two favorite cities, but that I get to live in the city I’m writing about. I know that these unique opportunities are true gifts, and I am extremely grateful for them.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Me, My Heart, and I's Facebook page. Thanks!