Sunday, 30 June 2013

Writing - Can we make ourselves happier?

What has this question to do with writing? Easy for me - I write = I'm happy! That's not to say that I find writing easy or difficult, I just enjoy doing it.
The reason I have produced this blog was because of a question I was asked this morning while robing up at church. The question,
"What sort of novels do you write?"
Now for those more experienced at the writing trade than myself the question may seem easy to answer but I always struggle producing a concise and interesting answer. I said something along the lines of thrillers with a hint of mystery and a hero that is a down-to-earth James Bond. There is nothing untrue or incorrect about the answer it just doesn't fill me with a great deal of satisfaction. BUT the writing makes me happy!
Of course I did add that my latest offering is somewhat different and briefly described the way that is going and why it originated. I never mentioned writing poetry!
I am ok to talk about my writing but not entirely happy to do so. Now I think that is purely a personal and psychological reaction to exposing what is a very private exercise to others. It is to do with criticism and that doesn't make me happy! This then begs the question about my marketing what I write - why do it? In short to share my views of the world either directly or through the medium of the Steele novels. The marketing I do gently without any real desperation to sell but if my books took off that would also make me happy.

Professor Veenhoven of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam has been doing some research into the subject of making ourselves happier and comes up with a simple conclusion and which is that happiness changes over time and therefore we can make ourselves happier by better management of our lives. He also states that elderly people tend to be wiser and therefore happier.
Simple then. Manage life better, grow older and you'll be happy. I can see flaws! However, the writing process is, for me, almost a therapy. The more I write the happier I feel but I do take time off and for those who are writing to earn money that may seem difficult. As the saying goes - 'a change is as good as a rest'
If the writing process is stressing you then stop it, in fact that is true of any stressful activity in life. It could be that a break will re-energise you to write more happily.

This came from an advertisement going back years. It makes you smile all by itself. Well if you're happy you sometimes laugh and here is my take on that:-


Like the finest wine delighting the palette
A smile that grows wider until you yell it
Bursting from within to the disturbance of others
Drawing together as if we are brothers

Better than running on treadmill or road
Yet muscles aching with the exploded load
Cheeks and sides feel like they’re splitting
Until the tears course down and are dripping

Heat that is generated free of charge
Spreading outward wide and large
No one can denigrate production of sound
There is more than enough to go around

There are no decriers - that is jealousy
This the basest of human heresy
So if the opportunity presents - grasp it
Your soul will sing with joy exquisite
©David L Atkinson September 2012

God Bless