Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Downside of Happiness By Kathleen Lawless  #kathleenlawless

I think it would be better for my writing career if I wasn't so darn happy.

Say what? you ask.  Everyone wants to be happy.


However, I find it far easier to write when I am overflowing with angst.  Churning emotions are very conducive to several things useful to a writer.  One is self-analysis.  Why do I feel this way?  Which transfers very easily to 'Why do my characters feel this way?'  And since I like to make my characters suffer, if I'm suffering it's a gimme they are as well.

I started writing after the death of my mother when I was a teenager.  It was cheaper and more accessible than therapy and I discovered I really enjoyed writing.  I had a lot to say and work through and filled reams of paper with words that no one besides me ever read.

Then I got married and soon was unhappy.  I started writing again, commercially this time with an eye to sell.  Did I find escape from reallity in my writing?  Absolutely!  Financial success, which I dreamed of right from the start, would also mean I wasn't dependent on a husband to support myself and three children.

I finally sold my first book just as my marriage was grinding to a very painful end.  So there I was, a single mom, reinventing myself and trying not to starve in the process.  Truly excellent for the writing muse.  The whole undertaking led to the publication of more than twenty books and novellas, while the single life provided lots of material.

Then I fell in love.

The well dried up.

I no longer wanted to angst and anazlyze.

I wanted to run hand-in-hand along the beach with my love.  To stare into the depths of his mesmerizing gaze and know I am the luckiest girl in the world.  to dip strawberries in chocolate.  To create decadent meals for two.  To plan fabulous outings and vacations.

What I didn't want to do was write.

Thus I was forced to reinvent myself one more time.  Allow the happiness to spill forth and re-fill the well.  To write from a very good place.

It's not so hard.

I don't know why it took me this long to figure out.  Feelings and emotions, good and bad, negative and positive, are all grist for the mill.  So here I am, the happy writer.  No suffering required.

Kathleen Lawless is delighted to find happiness has led to an exciting idea for a seven book series.  Stay tuned....  In the meantime she is proud of her previous works.  Everyone comes out of them happy, the way life is meant to be.  Check out her website to download a free novella.


  1. I have found as I've aged that I don't like much angst. I prefer movies that are light. Humor is great. Therefore, my writing has vastly changed. Is it because I'm happy? Maybe. I love to write light. So glad you finally got your HEA.

    1. Super interesting that you notice a change in your writing, cheryl. I'll watch for that in my work.

  2. A thoughtful post Kathleen. Very timely for me. I guess 'happy or sad' one must press forward as other alternatives are certainly grimmer.
    I guess right now for me - I'm in the in-between stage, neither euphoric or too down. I guess being in the middle is where it's at for me.
    Congratulations on writing so many books. Very impressive. Thanks for your blog today.

    1. Thanks Jodie. I'm sure in-between brings its own storylines and freshness. Let us know how it goes.

  3. I've always been happy as an adult, with some angst-ridden times thrown in there (hey, I'm married--of course there's angst.) The last two winters were the first times I ever forced myself to write through rough spells. It worked, but I hope I never have to do it again. Like Jodie, said, your post is really thoughtful, and I'm glad you managed to write through the happy. Ain't it great?

    1. Being happy is truly wonderful. Glad to hear you managed to write through the darkness back into the light, Liz.

  4. Great post, Kathleen. I've written romantic comedy during some bleak times. I guess it was my way to pick myself up when I felt so down. I'm like Cheryl. As I've gotten older, I don't like all the conflict that goes into dramatic fiction. Even in the romantic suspense I'm writing, I have more external conflict than internal, and the internal is usually centered on 1 damaged character with the other character being "normal."


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