write happy?

This is something that I have often struggled with as I know many of my writerly compatriots have/do as well. How does one write about happiness, or even sometimes how does one write while happy? It’s this terrible and mystical little beast and whatever they call it, a double edged sword or something like that. I like to try and steer away from swords while writing but hey there is always a time and place. The idea is I suppose, then, how does one write while maintaining a some what healthy and normal life? Or are we all doomed to live these masochistic relationship jumping ego dooming existences, to wander the globe alone and bleeding ink? I’d like to hope not but I’ve been told by my exboyfriend that I use tragedy as fodder for my writing, that I seek out these painful moments, that I even to an extent create them. I suppose, he would know. So, I’ve been looking for them since he said that. I’ve been looking for the wells in which I dip my quill, are they full of the blood of old lovers and childhood trauma… yes. Hm. Am I disappointed my how disingenuous I feel because of this. Yes. Am I going to change what I write about? No. I am however wildly curious how my writing is or would be affected by blissfull happiness. Is it terrible to be afraid of being happy because my inspiration may dry up? I can’t live like that. I am determined to strike some sort of healthy balance. I am determined to try to write about being happy, to try even then to allow myself to be happy in the process. It’s a terrifying notion, but after reading this essay in The New York Times by the lovely Leslie Jamison, author of The Gin Closet (if you haven’t read it, RUN, to your nearest bookstore, if you still have one, or open another browser to Amazon and ORDER IT NOW.) She writes that, “Happiness works as prelude to sadness, or epilogue — as long as we feel its footage marred or distorted by the lurking horizon of its own absence.” And this one single line made so much sense to me that I began a story right there born from this very notion. And then I kept this line with me, I kept in my pocket. I went on a walk with a new friend and sat by the water because it’s finally getting nice in Idaho and I thought, this is happy, this is what happiness is, but then I looked just a moment further and sure enough, just as Leslie says, the moment is draped in some iridescent sadness because inherently we will move forever away from this moment. So, perhaps it isn’t finding out how to write happy or how to write about happiness but a process of using it as a lens or a tool to look at everything else in life. To process the unprocessable. Perhaps.

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One Reply to “write happy?”

  1. I can’t write when I’m too happy or sad. But when I’m a little of either and deep in thought I have philosophical/sociological/psychological revelations that need to be written down. So I text them to myself, email myself, create word documents and save them forever. It feels good to read about the few good times I was able to write about and revisit my previous revelations which I’ve surprisingly never disagreed with.

    I always find something that needs to be written down when I go on road trips too. All that time in the car with just me and my thoughts. Ive actually written about why I love solo road trips so much, for example. Its the opposite of a vicious cycle.

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