Monday, June 27, 2011

Be Happy: Deadlines and Writing

I am happy today. Last Friday I sent off a revision of my novel for writer friends to read while I am at the Hamline residency. I always set deadlines before trips and professional commitments and I don't always make them. Then I am not happy. I wanted to get this revision finished because preparation for the residency - presentation and workshop pieces, along with 4th of July camping; two weeks back in St. Paul, and then recovery from all the stimulation, add up to quite a bit of time away from a daily writing routine.

And yet I love the stimulating days and nights with fellow writers. I would be one unhappy camper if I sat alone in my front of my computer, day after day, all year long.

So how to be happy? My husband and I recently watched the film documentary Happy. The film producers traveled the world in search of the happiest people. They asked: Does money make you happy? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution?

According to the film 50% of your happiness can be attributed to your genes. So go ahead and blame your parents for your grumpiness quotient - but only part of it.

I want my writing life to be part of a happiness revolution. I want to believe that this summer I could be happy heading off for Hamline, or vacation, even if I hadn't finished that revision. I want to trust my process, on the happy and not so happy days.


  1. Great to hear. keep up the happy vibes, they are rubbing off on me.

  2. Yesterday while waiting to hear if a story I've been working on was acceptable to an editor, I decided picking strawberries would be better than checking my email every five minutes. Sunshine (rare this summer so far in Minnesota), beautiful red ripe strawberries (thanks to all our rain), and being out in the country made me very happy. Still waiting to hear today, but your post makes me determined to do something again that makes me happy no matter what the editor's decision is. Thanks, Claire.

  3. okay I still don't know what "happy" means--but then I am a certified crumudgeon. I'll have to rent that movie, Claire. Now I'm insipired to write a post on 'fun,' which also perplexes me...