People will probably look at this title and say, “What?! Of course we want to be happy!”, but let me just add a little context to this absurd statement. This is what my lecturer said in one of my classes this week. We were talking about what kind of writers we are and one of my peers said that they wrote best when they were in a bad place in their life, and now they are happy, they can’t write as well.
There is quite a lot of stigma around writers for being miserable and depressed. It’s the idea that it is easier to write about misery and death, than about happy, gushy stuff. I think that this is true in a lot of art forms, because at the end of the day you want people to feel something when they experience your work, and nothing is felt more strongly, and is related to more than sadness.
So how far will writers go to create their work? Do they really want to be happy or do they want to be successful? Writers put all of their angst and negativity into their writing, so no wonder people think that writers are these emotional, messed up, mental creatures who are filled with all kinds of hatred that normal people don’t experience. But I think it’s just because writers are more vocal about all their sadness. They don’t try to hide it.
Despite all of this, I think writers do want to be happy, and more importantly they can be happy. There is a lot to be said about drawing from past experiences, or even other peoples sadness. You can still create sad art whilst you’re happy.
I am a happy person, not wanting to boast about this or anything. I mean, yes, there are things that make me sad and things that I would like to change in my life to make me more happy, but life isn’t perfect. Whatever your motive might be for holding on to pent up sadness, people always want to be happy. It’s in our nature.