Discover more from A load off my mind
#51 A milestone
something about myself
Before we begin, I thought I'd mention a new feature in this newsletter. Substack supports referrals now, so I've turned them on to see what happens. Let me know what you think!
Right now, I've set it to three referrals for a free month of the paid newsletter, five for three months free, and 25 for six months comped. I'll be keeping track of all the referrals, and at the end of every month, I'll be doing a giveaway thanks to those who help with the most referrals!
Word-of-mouth is the number one way readers find me, and I appreciate any time you forward an issue to a friend or drop a link in your group chat. And now Substack offers a way for me to reward you for your referrals!
If you enjoy A Load off My Mind, it would mean the world to me if you invited friends to subscribe. If you refer friends, you will receive benefits giving you special access to a Load off my mind and a monthly winner.
I have hit a little milestone here on A Load off My Mind without even realising it. I noticed I misnumbered my regular weekly posts while looking over all of my old posts. So I've already reached #50 posts! Numbers have never been my forte ;-)
I planned on writing something special for my 50th, but without realizing it last week was my 50th! Which turned out better as I didn’t putting pressure on myself to write something extraordinary, I casually wrote my most popular post to date. Don't you love it when something like that happens?
You can do your best work without realising it just by coming up with a fresh idea and executing it precisely. I often do my best when I get on with working; the process is essential.
The writing gets better if you are in the flow and hit your regular steps. For example, writing things in a rush or at the last minute will not result in a good post. But taking the time to think things out, let the words rest for a few days, edit and editing again. And then finally reading everything aloud, this is the magic sauce for me!
I hate to be pedantic, but I want to thank everyone for subscribing and welcome any new faces here this week! Benvenuti.
I appreciate you taking the time to subscribe.
I hope to keep the momentum going.
Honestly, I've been losing my writing mojo, feeling a little deflated, living in my head too much and letting my self-critic and imposter syndrome persuade me not to work. I know the problem is isolation, a real temptation for introverted writers like myself.
So often, we think all we need to do is lock ourselves in a room to read and write and not come out until the work is done. But writers need a network of supporters and friends including other writers, mentors, editors and readers.
Writing should be a collaborative process, where you are constantly writing, editing, getting feedback and sharing.
It is challenging to sustain creative work without your tribe, community or cohort of supporters who love what you are doing and help you improve.
That's why this newsletter is so important; I'm stepping away from the hamster wheel of social media to find my readers and supporters right here.
So let me know how you got here. And however you got here, I'm happy you found me.
If you are new, let me share a bit about myself.
I'm an Italo Australian writer, blogger, travel copywriter and ESL teacher.
I am originally from Perth, Western Australia, where my Sicilian and Abruzzese families immigrated after WWII.
I once did a DNA test out of curiosity to see if I had any other exciting origins I might not have known. I am 86 % Italian with ancestors mostly from southern Italy, Sicily and Sardegna. The other percentage includes 0.1% Ashkenazi Jewish, Arab, Egyptian & Levantine, Northern West Asian and broadly Western Asian and North African, which sounds so exotic!
I am interested in many things, from reading to music to poetry, history, art, creativity, opera, and travel.
I live in a small town in Sicily, Italy and have done so for over 20 years.
My favourite European countries, besides Italy, are the UK, Spain and France.
One country I'd love to visit and learn a bit of the language is Japan.
I am obsessed with American music and Americana and would love to write a novel set in the US.
I am a Pisces
I am left-handed
I like to sketch and make collages to relax and unwind.
My favourite sport to practice is swimming.
I like long conversations about random things.
I'm not too fond of insincerity and egomania
I love to drink espresso coffee and iced matcha (either one or the other not both together).
I don't mind a beer or a glass of wine paired with my food.
I love sushi and oven-baked vegetables (not necessarily together, they are my random faves that came to mind as I am writing this list)
My favourite kind of pizza is Margherita
My favourite kind of pasta sauce is pesto, preferably with linguini.
I like good documentaries and comedy specials on Netflix.
I am not a genre reader, but I will read everything except horror because it freaks me out too much. Same with horror movies, I literally won't sleep at night! I love Stephen King, but I started reading It, which traumatised me forever! All in the first few pages.
I think everyone has the right to express an opinion, even if it doesn't agree with mine. I always try to see things from a different point of view. I guess that's the empath in me.
Sometimes I'll see a situation or group of random people that will speak to me. It's a different detail that draws me towards a slice of life I want to take. Like this image I took at Teatro Massima at Palermo.
I remember it was a hot summer afternoon. The theatre was teeming with people, so I didn't feel like going inside, even though the Teatro Massimo is my favourite place to visit Palermo. The first time I saw it, I jumped out of my skin. It was like seeing an old friend out of the blue, I recognised it, and a part of me felt connected to it too.
So I decided to take a walk around the exterior of the Teatro. I love this kind of stone that is so common in the palazzi around Palermo; it is so elegant, ancient and robust.
As I was walking around, I noticed this little outdoor garden cafe. This little group of middle-aged and elderly friends were being waited upon by the cutest waiter, complete with a white shirt, tight black pants, and a man bun. I suddenly wished I could sit at that table with my friends on a lazy Sunday afternoon and sip iced coffee under the shade of the Teatro Massimo.
It was a nostalgic wanderlust moment. And this is the postcard I keep at the forefront of my mind whenever I think about Palermo.
I hate to be long-winded, so I will stop here for now.
I'll keep trying to write something worthwhile here every week, perhaps more often if I get in some karmic writing zone.
Thanks for subscribing, and be sure to send this to a friend or someone you think might enjoy it.
Speak again soon.
With love and light from RDB