know I have been reading a lot lately about how to make the best of yourself
and life in general. Not only have I indulged myself for my own sake but I have
found it very helpful with my characters. It has given me a more concrete base to
explore behaviours. Understanding what
people do to be more successful, to be more creative or simply to be happier in
life is invaluable for a writer’s development of tension and motivation, and
thus the credibility of their characters.
It’s not bad for us in a more generic sense either.
my reading this week has been about the habits of people that are happy. This
worked really well for me when at the fortnightly meeting with my writers group
the subject came up because of the behaviour of one of my characters. My female lead seems to be a bone of
contention. My group questioned whether Lia could really live with such a
difficult person, that person being Nico, and be content? Delving into the topic sparked even more discussion.
What makes people happy? What is it that they do to obtain that state? Is it
event directed? Is it a state of being
we can maintain or is it fleeting? Whilst
my short story in our anthology (due out July this year) is along paranormal
lines my novel is part of a romantic series.
Romances are notorious for demanding a happy ever after. Romance readers
want the characters to experience supreme happiness and not necessarily just at
the end. They want the courting process
to have that joy once we get over the first attraction tension blues.
always loved reading; found it both a soothing past time and thought-provoking.
Fiction is an escape, and romances are a fantasy of excitement and love that we
can live vicariously until the moment we close that last page in that last chapter. Sitting at our spot in the Riverway Cafe and
enjoying the tranquil surroundings our discussion centred on ways for me to
give Nico a more solid platform with which to connect to readers. The group has just done a heavy duty edit of
my novel. This edit is a big one as I am almost ready to publish and in fact I would
have done so except for some reservations about sections dealing with Nico. He isn’t always nice to Lia, and in fact as I
said he can be a most difficult man.
the group members asked me to define the characteristics I think Lia finds in
Nico to believe she can be happy living with him. Just as important to
understand are the characteristics in Lia that soothe and settle Nico. He might
not call himself happy but something suits, unexpected or not. Do you need to
be a happy person to experience happiness, or do you have to be a certain kind
of person who lives in a certain way that encourages happiness? Is happiness a habit we can acquire by the
right behaviour? Lia thinks so. Consciously
and perhaps subconsciously at times she demonstrates with patience and example
that it isn’t that hard to be happy. Attitude is what makes or breaks a
situation. Despite his arrogance Nico already does many of things that encourage
happiness. Subliminally he is prepared
to receive Lia’s messages.
wise enough to follow some of the Wise
Habits of Supremely Happy Peoplenot because he has read the post but because
I have. Travis Bradberry once again brings common sense to the mix and Nico has
plenty of that so I combined the two.
The post explains the road to happiness is obtainable because the road
is made up of simple elements, common sense elements. For instance Nico knows to surround himself
with the right people to support him. He
exercises understanding his body is important if he is to enjoy life. Our instincts are wiser than our intellect if
we take the time to listen, or read.
we, the real people, not fictional characters writers manipulate, can find
happiness by being practical in the habits we acquire. One of these habits is deep conversations. Lia
has no hesitation indulging in these. It lends strength to her to do what she
must in order to lead a life that will make them both happy. Time and time again for me personally the
ability for deep conversations has been my saving grace and kept me
afloat. Having the luxury of someone to
talk to, someone to admit fear to and someone that encourages you to find
solutions is liberating. You gain a much more viable perspective. My friend Julia who is a
health coach talks often about health being as much mental as it is physical as
it is spiritual. Feeling good is made up
of many things and they need to be in balance.
Her latest post has some wonderfully simple hints to better living.
I like to
think that having these conversations helps the other person as much as it does
us and that brings me to another easy habit to get into – helping others. Happiness spreads through people and this
helps positivity. In turn a growth
mindset occurs. The alternative is a
fixed mind-set where there are no roses to smell because there is no time to
grow them. My writing group which by the way goes by the
name Wordwick3d (how cool is the name) can see an improvement in my work. I owe
this to the reading I have done, and to the people out there that make a great
effort to simplify information for better reception.
puzzle me though that as a reader I have always had the information at my
fingertip page-turning fingers and yet I have been slow to act. So have a lot of people so why do we not take
it on board sooner? My hero is a very
logical person yet he fears happiness and makes a supernova effort to destroy what
he has. We may not be quite so ferocious
yet we still stray off the learning path. I think I have finally worked out why
and had to look at something in a whole new light - technology.
had my whinges quite frequently about technology. Despite my protestations it isn’t my lack of
ability to use it that upsets me, well yes it is but, and it is a bit but, that
technology distances us from each other upsets me more. Emails and face book are immediate but leech
the personal touch out of communication.
Internet research pushes books aside with its speed, and its visual
access to anything and everything even to banishing shopping trips to allow
online ordering. Yet all of these things
also mean the outside world becomes an inside one. I read a sentence or a paragraph, find it
fascinating or not, press a button to learn more or completely change
direction. Easier, faster access does put the message across in a much stronger
fashion. How can it not when it is virtually
bombarding you with sound, colour, and images all adding up to an unstoppable
instantaneous connection to our brain? It is this easy access that has encouraged me
to look deeper into my own motivations and feelings, and at my stage of life speed
I may never
produce a best-seller, may not even publish (yes I will), but the feeling of
progression that comes on a daily basis cannot stop the happiness bubbling,
boiling more like it. I just hope I can
transfer my knowledge to my over bearing and bossy hero through my more
balanced and people-orientated Lia so that my sexy brooder learns being happy
has some real advantages. I can only