Friday, March 26

Finding Joy? by Jana Richards


Photo by Kolby Milton on Unsplash

This past January, I attended an online conference. One of the classes I took part in was about building a business plan for my writing business. The idea is to set goals and then come up with concrete ideas and strategies to turn those goals into reality. 

The presenter shared her business plan with us. The very first page summarized the purpose of my business. What do I want out of my writing career in the next year?

I followed along with the presenter and copied down some of her responses because they made a lot of sense to me, and they were things I want, too. I definitely want to increase income. I’d like to increase productivity, while at the same time increasing the quality of my work. I would love to increase the number of newsletter subscribers I have and make the subscribers already on my list happy that they’ve stuck around. 

And then the presenter wrote: Have my writing business bring me joy and happiness.

Okay. Sure. Of course, I want my writing business to bring me joy and happiness. Who doesn’t want their work to be enjoyable? The trouble is that outside of the actual writing, a lot of the things I have to do to promote and market my work are not that much fun for me. I’d rather be writing than spending time on Facebook.

For the first things on the list, I can see things I see strategies to accomplish them. For instance, to increase income, I’ve been experimenting with doing more advertising. To increase productivity, I’ve been writing nearly every day and striving to reach a word count goal each day. I’m reading books and studying ways to write better emails to my newsletter subscribers. 

But ways to increase joy and happiness are eluding me.

I guess I could start by letting go of things I deeply dislike. I’m not a fan of Facebook. I’d be quite happy to never log on again. The trouble is that a lot readers are on Facebook. I’d lose advertising opportunities if I didn’t have a Facebook page. I couldn’t even communicate with other Word Wranglers. 

Maybe an attitude adjustment is in order. Instead of thinking that I hate promotions, maybe I can make an effort to like at least some parts of it. But how do I accomplish that?

I think it’s important to derive happiness from all parts of my work. Dear readers and fellow Word Wranglers, how do you find joy in what you do, even the parts you don't like so much? I would love your feedback and ideas. 


  1. A great post and a great question. To give a trite answer, I find joy in productivity (and we all know there are days when that's not happening!) in friendships with other writers, and in having my space. Although I like blogging, I've never been able to make any other part of promotion fun, so I'm anxious to hear what others have to say.

  2. Don't get me wrong. The writing part of my writing business is very satisfying, though it has its frustrating moments. I love when I'm productive, too, and I love when I can point at my books and say, "I wrote that", even if it's only to myself.

    For me, too, blogging is the most enjoyable part of promotion, and I kind of endure the rest. I'm an introverted person, so I have to make myself get out there, though when I do, it's usually pretty enjoyable. I recently held a contest exclusively for my newsletter subscribers. I asked them to tell me something that made them happy or optimistic as we moved into spring. I got several responses and I corresponded with each person. And that was fun.

    I watched a webinar about Facebook ads recently (another barrel of laughs). The presenter made a point of saying how much she loved the creativity of making the ads, especially in imagining her ideal reader. So, I have to keep that in mind. Like I said, I probably need an attitude adjustment.

  3. Amen, Liz! Love your honesty. I, too, often do things that aren't bringing me joy, and then I wonder, "What the heck?!" Maybe it's time to lighten our loads without guilt making them heavier than they were to begin with.

    1. A very good idea Janie! If I could afford to pay someone to do all the admin and advertising type work for me I'd be a very happy camper. Alas, that isn't in the cards right now, so I'll do what I can and try to learn to enjoy it.