The Writer’s Perspective on Health, Happiness, and Prosperity by Debra H. Goldstein
January begins a new year of dreams and hopes, but it is also a time for personal reflection. When I think about my family and friends, I wish them only health, happiness, and prosperity for 2020. Being honest, I’d like the same for me – but these thoughts take on different interpretations when one is a writer.
Health – We all wish to be healthy in the sense of no illnesses, injuries, or other personal calamities. Consequently, we are told to eat healthy, avoid alcohol and tobacco, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Writers? They fill the smoke-filled bars at conventions. Often, they eat on the fly because they are immersed in a project. They work in a solitary environment where they rarely leave their computers (which, by the way, is a good means of developing carpal tunnel syndrome from typing/ eye strain from not blinking/ neck and shoulder pain from poor keyboard posture). Finally, sleep and exercise go out the window when a writer is on deadline.
Happiness – Joy in the little things brings smiles to most people’s faces, but writers? We are happy when people buy our books or tell us they like something we wrote, but we cringe at bad reviews, sales numbers that don’t meet our expectations, and when fans and friends don’t show up at signings. One writer, on deadline, compares the days she is immersed in writing to being in jail. I don’t find that a particularly happy image, do you? Or how about those instances when an idea is impossible to grasp or if it does invade one’s brain, it doesn’t work?
Prosperity – If prosperity is counted by the dollars earned or a declaration of being a New York Times Bestselling author, prosperity is the gold ring most writers can only dream about.
So, why do writers write? It certainly isn’t because it brings us pure health, happiness, and prosperity. No, after much reflection, I think it is because we must. We hope readers are happy with what we produce, but readership isn’t our primary purpose in spending our time writing. Although it may not be obvious, writers obtain health, happiness, and prosperity from the joy of sharing ideas through the written word. … and every now and then from reader reactions. Tell me, what about you? Why do you read and how does it impact your health, happiness, and prosperity?