[Body, Mind & Spirit] How to Find Happiness as a Writer

Slow down. Make time in your busy life to turn inward for answers. You are not a headless chicken; you are a reservoir of wisdom. Dip into your own well. Take time each day to make a meaningful connection with yourself first, and then with others.

Be where you are. Learn how to be more present in your life. Trust that you have everything you need and that things are unfolding perfectly in their own time. Replace desperate striving with deliberate actions that are in alignment with your values. Know what you value.


Have fun. Do things because you enjoy doing them. Sure, there are things you have to do. But much of what you think you “have to” do may only be “have-to” in your own mind. Distinguish between the two.


Decide what stories you’re going to believe. Most of us, without realizing it, tell ourselves a heap of lies. A common one is I’m not good enough. This is ridiculous. We’re all doing the best we can with the gifts we’ve been given. I came upon this quote recently: “As you grow, you will see that the idea of needing to earn worth and value is as irrelevant as needing to earn the air you breathe.” I don’t remember where I read this. I think my spiritual psychology teachers, Ron and Mary Hulnick, may have said it.


Another lie people get suckered into believing is that they’ll be happy when xyz happens. Fill in the blank. But when that dreamed-of thing or event happens, your impossible-to-please ego reaches for another goal to obsess over, keeping happiness just out of reach. Instead of falling into this trap, try choosing happiness—for no reason. If that’s too challenging, try adding some altitude to your attitude. The best way to do this is to look around and be grateful for what’s good. Count your blessings. Ask yourself what you might you do differently if your mind wasn’t hoodwinked into believing its own crippling narratives. Learn to see sparks of light in dark storms.


Let go of your ego. Let it drift up into thin air; refuse to be ruled by it. As the needs of your ego dissipate you’ll be free to let go of other things as well: the need to be or look a certain way; your concerns about what others think of you; stuff you no longer need that’s cluttering your home; habits and behaviors that drag you down; inner critics who spew crap into your ear that you adopt as your defining truth. Refuse to believe criticisms such as, No one will care what I have to say, or What right do I have to express myself? Pull the covers off inner chatter that hisses, Don’t be a show off. Don’t call attention to yourself. Don’t make waves. Hide.


Loosen your grasp on worry, which, according to the film Thanks for Sharing, is nothing but “a mediation on shit.” You can do better. Return to the present moment. Worrying about the future will not help you prepare for it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re worrying about the future. Stop. Come back to this moment. Right here. Right now.


Remember to put first things first. Sometimes when I go on social media sites, I can’t believe the noise. And I feel like I don’t want to contribute to the racket—to the endless cyber chatter. But then I realize I feel that way because I’m attempting to participate in a larger conversation before I’ve checked in with myself. This brings me back to where I began: slow down and check in with yourself. Listening to your inner wisdom is the best preparation I know for surfing life’s waves and weathering its storms. Balance, like so many other aspects that affect our happiness, comes from within.


How do you find happiness as a writer? And as a human being? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your wisdom.




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Comment by Bella Mahaya Carter on July 6, 2016 at 10:15am

maggie brooke: Getting physical is great for writers, and part of what's coming in my next blog post! Thanks for reading and sharing.

Comment by maggie brooke on July 4, 2016 at 4:19pm

Sometimes I think I'm happiest composing my words because that usually happens when I am getting physical exercise like walking or swimming.

Comment by Bella Mahaya Carter on June 29, 2016 at 3:00pm

 Karen Szklany Gault: I hear you, Karen. Sounds like a great plan!

Comment by Karen Szklany Gault on June 29, 2016 at 8:53am

Thank you so much for this reminder, Bella!  I think I really need to return to what Julia Cameron describes as "Morning Pages."  I just need to write out my dreams and goals and how to bring them to fruition...because I am so done with having to travel long distances for modest pay.  I want to just write.

Comment by Bella Mahaya Carter on June 28, 2016 at 11:54am

Ramey Channell: So happy my words landed on ears that needed to hear them! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Comment by Bella Mahaya Carter on June 28, 2016 at 11:53am

Elaine Stevens: Yay! So happy to hear this. Thanks for sharing. You are NOT alone.  Enjoy your journey!

Comment by Ramey Channell on June 26, 2016 at 12:37pm

Wow! This is fabulous. Just what I needed for today!

Comment by Elaine Stevens on June 26, 2016 at 9:43am

Undoubtedly one of the most poignant views on what we as writers feel. The words came into my life just at the right time. I am six chapters into my memoir and feeling that pain of self doubt, but you managed to nurture and heal the wound. I will keep this as a testament to not feeling alone, to understanding myself better, and to share with my writers' group. Thank you a million times over for your profound thoughts.

Comment by Lizzie Eldridge on June 23, 2016 at 9:51pm

Thank you very much for your reply, Bella. i hugely appreciated your warm and supportive words. Take care and all the best!

Comment by Irene Allison on June 23, 2016 at 4:25pm

Thank you, Bella, I hope you'll enjoy the book! Warm wishes!


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