Dear Crissy

Blog your happiness

I have been writing for an audience online since I was sixteen years old. Creative non-fiction is absolutely a passion, however, until recently I really focused on writing about the bits and pieces of my life that were complicated, difficult, or painful. In fact, I always loved and related to this quote from Jorge Luis Borges.

I, too…have always known that my destiny was, above all, a literary destiny—that bad things and some good things would happen to me, but that, in the long run, all of it would be converted into words. Particularly the bad things, since happiness does not need to be transformed: happiness is its own end. — Jorge Luis Borges

This was true for me, and over the years when life was happy, and easy, I would pull away from my blog and just live. I soaked up those good times, and gave little thought to writing any of it down. I felt that my online journal, and furthermore my writing, generally, were really of little use to me when I was not using them as a crutch, a band-aid, or an escape.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that there are times in all of our lives when we may need to take a blogging vacation, perhaps even to the benefit of our writing, and certainly our lives. There is always that ebb and flow that keeps many of us loving, and hating, the space we have created online.

However, I’ve realized something that has proven pretty important to my own personal blogging philosophy. While I used to really believe that there was only value in my writing when it was sparked from a place of discontent, I’ve learned that sometimes happiness does need to be transformed. Happiness is worth exploring, and dissecting, and holding up to the light. In my case, I am particularly interested in the happiness that is a by-product of being someone’s mother.

Life is so complicated. It can be dark, and scary—but also filled with moments of joy, transcendence, and even euphoria. Grab those pieces of life, whether the flavor is bitter, or sweet, and write. Just write.

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39 Comments

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  1. Karen — March 31, 2011 @ 11:44 am (#)

    Love this post. As someone who has traveled with you on this journey, I think it’s so interesting how we have come from writing about our struggles to making a point to write about happiness. Writing about dark spots is not really in my blog’s vocabulary anymore. Life is hard, but even moreso, it’s thrilling and fun when you have your “little buddy” by your side. I can’t seem to focus my blog on the bad parts when there’s just so much good.

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  2. Diana @Hormonal Imbalances — March 31, 2011 @ 11:46 am (#)

    This is a beautiful post. So often we forget to share the good, the triumphs with people who read about our lives. What a great reminder.

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  3. Laura — March 31, 2011 @ 11:59 am (#)

    Yeah I totally get that and agree. Writing about our painful stuff can certainly be a form of therapy to us and those may read it, but then again so can the happy stuff. I think it gives people hope and inspiration that there is something happy to look forward to in all of our lives. We don’t live in a constant place of happy, but it does come. And of course contentment is nothing to sneeze at either. I’ve never known such happiness as has come from being the mom of Anna and Esther. There’s a whole ball of emotions that also come with it, frustration, restlessness, fighting off fear that something will happen to them, etc. etc. But the happiness and joy make it all worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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    • How To Live Happily — March 31st, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

      Spot on!

      I remember a time when I used to believe that a piece of art needs to be inspired by pain in order to have any value.

      Well, that was a reflection of my mindset back then – and I assumed that it was universal. Actually, I considered anybody thinking otherwise to be shallow.

      We tend to impose our own limitations on the world around us.

      It is such a relief to let them go!

  4. Deb — March 31, 2011 @ 12:02 pm (#)

    I can totally identify with this, Crissy. Writing is my passion and in the past, specifically as it relates to my poetry, my most creative times, were also some of my lowest points in life. I have written very few “happy” poems, and haven’t penned one in a long while. I attribute that to the fact that my son has brought me so much joy that I do not need to write, but the truth is, happiness deserves to be captured in a poem too!

    Thank you for writing this :)

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  5. Laurie — March 31, 2011 @ 12:18 pm (#)

    Love your perspective! I have a hard time doing the opposite – easy to write about happy moments and hard to share the tough and vulnerable ones.

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  6. April — March 31, 2011 @ 12:25 pm (#)

    This post is coincidentally right when I needed a reminder to focus not only on the bitter. Today especially is one those days I’d like to really rely on my blog as a crutch for the apparent unhappiness of the day. Instead, after reading this, and prior to posting something revolving my anger (which I’m sure would only put me in a worse mood) I’m going to write something I’m happy about in the hopes that it will improve my day and not hinder it further. Thank you for such a simple yet powerful reminder. :)

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  7. christina — March 31, 2011 @ 12:32 pm (#)

    Beautiful. And I completely agree with you… been writing for eons and tend to always slip away from it during the good times. Until now. Until I became a mom. Because now, it’s just THAT good not to share- regardless if anyone is listening or not. And the best thing is that one day my Lovie will have something to read about herself when she was a wee one! :)

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  8. Jamie — March 31, 2011 @ 12:35 pm (#)

    What wonderful advice! There are so many ups and downs in the life of a mother, but the happiness that comes from being a mom is incomparable to any other life experience. As someone who is just starting their blogging journey, I appreciate the wisdom of this post. Your picture is so beautiful as well, it really does capture the heart of what you wrote.

    By the way, I noticed that you’re in Ohio. That is so exciting for me because I feel like I never meet any bloggers that live near me. :)

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  9. alicia — March 31, 2011 @ 1:10 pm (#)

    So true. Beautifully written. This is one reason project smile was born. To help focus on the smiles. Love that photo!!

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  10. Rebecca Barkai — March 31, 2011 @ 2:04 pm (#)

    Hi, Chrissy,

    I really enjoyed reading your latest blog entry. I am still quite new to the whole blogging, tweeting, etc. and still trying to figure it all out in the spare time I have after taking care of my three kids, hubby, household and my business. LOL.

    But, I agree with you. I enjoy writing myself. I also love to write poetry and have a stash of like 35 poems, but the majority of them were pre-hubby (so close to 13 or more years back) and when I was sad about things, a break up, life was difficult, etc. But now that I have kids, I agree with what Karen wrote this morning, that there is so much fun and excitement with having your own children, being a mother/parent, etc. that there is actually so much HAPPY things to write about. Keep up the writing!!!!

    Thanks for sharing…KIT.

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  11. Melissa Brotherton — March 31, 2011 @ 2:25 pm (#)

    I love this! So often I look at my blog and wonder if I’m getting too heavy, too depressing, too drama-filled. It’s harder to write about the good times because then you feel like you’re bragging. When you right about a struggle or issue people relate because they’re going through the same thing. It’s a comfort to them. But who needs to be comforted in their joy? It is something I have been trying to be more intentional about lately though; being balanced.

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  12. Ashley — March 31, 2011 @ 3:16 pm (#)

    Oh this is such an insightful representation of what blogging should really be for everyone. I have written since I can remember, but putting it out there for blogging has been a slight struggle. It does often seem that when coming from a place of pain or sorrow, the words flow easier. I’m not sure if it is because it is easier to have others relate to you that way, or if we fear seeming too perfect if we share all that is good. I think the true sign of an evolved writer is the ability to share it all (which is the goal I strive to achieve!). Thank you for sharing this!

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  13. Lenetté — March 31, 2011 @ 5:05 pm (#)

    So true. Thanks for the reminder.

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  14. Lisa Brown — March 31, 2011 @ 9:13 pm (#)

    Great post! I try to focus my blog on positive things… because… well, who wants to dwell on negativity? And, the happiness on your blog makes other happy to read as well. Nothing is better than that!

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  15. Julee — April 1, 2011 @ 12:27 am (#)

    Absolutely beautiful! I love that you expose everything..not just life’s “thrills”
    Following from Boost your Buzz

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you are beautiful. hope to see you soon!