My job isn’t to be a good writer, or a good editor, or a good teacher. Nor is my job to be a good father, or a good husband, or brother, or friend, or citizen. I only have one job, and that is to be happy. I don’t mean to suggest that none of those other things I do aren’t important. They are. But I’m not good at doing any of them if I’m not happy. Simply writing or hanging out with the people I love isn’t enough to make me happy.
I have to take being happy seriously. It has to be more important to me than being successful, or handsome, or popular, or cool, or smart, or funny. It has to be more important than how much I weigh or how much money I make. It has to be more important than whether I’m right or who is president. It has to be more important than whether the lawn is mowed or the dishes have been done. It even has to be more important than whether anyone else in my life is happy.
Yes, it’s a Me First orientation, but, as I said, I’m pretty much useless at doing anything until I’m happy. Some days I wish I could act myself into happiness. I wish I could write myself to happiness, or kiss my way to happiness, or laugh my way to happiness. Some days it seems as if I do. But just as you can love the story you’re writing one day and hate it the next, so too the thing I did yesterday that seemed to make me so happy is an empty chore the next.
As activities go, however, writing nearly always makes me happy. It’s the blank page, you see. That nothingness is so bare and honest. It asks me what I’m most interested in this morning. I am consistently happy when I’m chasing some interesting idea, whether on the page or in conversation. But those ideas don’t come by themselves; they don’t appear magically on the page. They arrive by invitation only. No interesting ideas will come to a house crowded with complaint and fear and envy. Ideas are looking for a party, a celebration of nothing more specific than life itself, where nothing more is needed, but more keeps coming anyway.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group coaching.
Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence.
You can find William at: williamkenower.com