Monday, February 2, 2015

Does Writing Make You Happy?

From Kate’s Writing Crate…

          Lots of people say they just want to be happy, but they don’t get too specific beyond that. If writing makes you happy, then write. Simply fit it into your schedule every day.

          Tawna Fenske, who writes the blog “Don’t Pet Me, I’m Writing”, wrote four books in one year that all went on to be published. Her biggest writing secrets: while she does have a fulltime job and a family with pets, she doesn’t have cable TV and knows how to multi-task. (See her post dated January 20, 2015.)

          When I was working long hours at corporate jobs, I kept scraps of paper nearby so as ideas came to me I could scribble them down. Scrap paper I could turn over easily was much less noticeable than a notebook—and no one read my stuff.

          While I do have ideas at random times, my muse only shows up when I am working—and that means uninterrupted writing time. Now that I write and edit for a living, I don’t have a set writing schedule for my personal writing, but I do write every day. My professional writing assignments have deadlines so I have to schedule time around those dates as well as all other aspects of my life.

Without hard deadlines, I’m not always as driven to complete personal projects. (See my post dated November 5, 2012.) Life does get in the way—unexpected illness, appointments, chores, errands, responsibilities, going out for fun, etc. However, writing needs to be on that list!

To make sure I write every day, I keep pens everywhere and a small notebook in my purse, a regular notebook in my book bag as well as one next to my bed, in my office, in my car, and, just in case, one in a drawer in the bathroom. I have no excuses not to write down ideas or sentences that come to me that can lead in new directions or to new projects.

Even if you can only write for minutes at a time between caring for children, cooking, laundry, caring for elderly relatives, and working outside the house, write. When you have a little more time, flip through your notebooks for inspiration so you don’t waste a minute trying to think of a topic. Just write.

Make the most of your writing time however long or short that might be. It will all add up in the end. Every word you write down is part of a life-long love letter to yourself—and that should make you happy.

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