A new writer friend in the Twitter-sphere posted something the other day that got my attention:
No one has all four:
- mental health
- a social life
- a finished manuscript
My initial reply was: #truth.
Then I rolled it over in my mind for a bit and said: “It could also be argued that having 1-3 make 4 come easier.”
Some things are easier said than done.
Sure, we all find our lives in seasons of imbalance – periods where certain things are sacrificed and pushed to the back burner while we strive to reach our goals. However, there’s a big difference in cutting out Netflix and ignoring your family. To propel you further down your chosen path, eliminating happy hours will be much more productive than sacrificing your sanity.
It brings to mind an excellent quote from Stephen King’s, On Writing:
“Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”
Our art should be a well-spring of life, not something that drains our vitality and casts our world in clouds and shadows. Still, life is not all sunshine and rainbows. And storms never last forever.
All of us wish to live a peak existence. To capture that elusive, mystic animal who moves through hidden lands all glitter and flash: The Hippogriff of Happiness. Have you reigned yours in, earned his majestic bow of acceptance?
Perhaps, like me, you dream of not only becoming a published author but a successful one; to make a living doing what you love the most. Whether your goal is to see your writing in print, see your face on the big screen, or hear your voice carrying a catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics across airways and through streaming platforms, don’t lose the joy of the journey. In the pursuit, there is magic. Shouldering against the current of surrender and the winds of dismay fills us with strength; adversity builds character.
No matter what one’s goal, humans seek meaning in their existence. We root around for little niblets of validation like rabbits in an empty wasteland. We long for recognition as mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, bankers, salespeople, clerks, and cashiers. We all must learn to be happy with what we’ve got while chasing after our desires. We must find that inner fire that isn’t dependent on external influences and outcomes. Even if you often feel nothing but a warrior of the mundane, and the humdrum of life an uphill battle, find the focal point of your joy.
Personally, the pursuit of creativity is the lens that colors my world with that sparkle and shine, yet you needn’t be an artist to have imagination in your corner. Creativity can foster better parenting, more productive business ventures, happier relationships. Our world contains limitless resources, and there are always better ways to be found. We are all endowed with this divine energy which allows us to create, reflect, make changes, and work towards our dream life.
Stay balanced. Be fluid. Pursue your creativity and use your art – whatever it may be – to magnify the good in your life. Awaken from your slumber. Go play in the dirt, climb trees, find the awe contained in a starry night, the magic in your child’s eyes.
Find your happiness, or let it find you.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman