Monday, February 17, 2014

Happiness Week, and I Won't Hold Back

Happy President's Day! 

If you're anything like me, you enjoy the day because it's a holiday for many. Although, writers don't really take holidays, at least not any I know. We write, we edit, we rewrite, and we think about writing. We are overjoyed when we get good reviews for our books, annoyed with someone says something about our books that makes you wonder if they actually read it, and downtrodden when someone doesn't like our books. Don't worry, most of us get over it and keep writing. 

Why do good reviews give us great pleasure, and the bad reviews disappoint? For me, it may not be the obvious reasons. I understand that not everyone loves the same books that I will, or that I will love the same books as everyone else. I've read many negative reviews for some of my favorite books, and I've read stellar reviews for books that left me asking "What the heck did I just read?" 

For me, it's about the parts of myself I've put into the writing. 

Last week I wrote a post 'Write from Within,' only I've recently come to realize that I always hold a part of myself back from my writing. I'm a private person, and I make no apologies for that, but I feel sometimes that I might be too private. I can happily live inside my own mind, working, writing, enjoying the beauty of home and nature, and I have been truly happy with this life. However, it's possible that in some ways I've missed out some wonderful experiences because I hold myself back. The same is true for my characters--are they missing out because I hold too much back as their creator? It's possible. No, it's a definite. 

In truth, I often use my characters to do things I wouldn't do. I love living vicariously through them, but what if opened myself up a little more? Would that in turn give my characters a chance to explore their own depths? I believe it would. Which is why I'm going to open the floodgates (or at least crack open the floodgates) and share a little more of myself with you, and with my characters. Not to say I won't still be a private person - there's no changing me completely - but I'm going to give it a try. Why? Because writing makes me happy.

I'm celebrating HAPPINESS on Facebook (and here) this week, or at least the concept of happiness. I'm a happy person. That may sound cliche, or just what someone says, but for me, it's a fact. I love my life - the ups and downs - all of it.  I love waking up every morning, even when I'd rather stay in bed. I enjoy putting in a full day of work, no matter how tired it leaves me at the end. I like the frustration of wanting to finish a book yesterday, and the joy knowing it will be better for the extra time taken. I enjoy each new year because it means I'll be a year older (and I hope wiser), and growing older makes me happy. Experience, memories, learning - it all makes me happy.
I'd love to know how you would finish the sentence, Happiness is . . . 


  1. I really like the "you" that might be glimpsed in your books, and the happy "you" you reveal in your words. I'm a happy person, too, and writing makes me happy, also. I choose to write often about faith and family for there I find happiness.

    1. That's why I write books set in the past, because reading about the past, learning about it, and writing about it makes me happy. It's always nice when we can do what we love.

  2. You question can be answered in so many ways, depending upon the mood/frame of mind. Right now I'm going to say that Happiness is a Death by Chocolate cupcake!

    While things are far from perfect in my life at this time, I wake up each day in a good mood (happy that I actually woke up and was able to get out of bed), looking forward to the adventures I may encounter throughout the day.

    1. Oooh, Death by Chocolate cupcake is definitely Happiness! :)