Monday, 6 March 2017

Live in Balance: Connections, Inter-connections and Threads that Bind

Have you ever wondered what it means to be happy? In recent weeks I have been musing about the concept. The question came to mind while reading Stephanie Dowrick's book, Creative Journal Writing. The book is not about what it means to be happy, but it planted a few ideas for a book of my own. These things happen, and I am sure not a foreign concept to any other writer: read a book and ideas pop into your head that makes you ponder some new ideas. Eventually, I did more than think about it.
Linzé Brandon, Live in Balance, Goals 2017

So what is happiness?

According to Wikipedia: “Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may also reflect judgments by a person about their overall well-being. A variety of biological, psychological, economic, religious and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.
Various research groups, including positive psychology and happiness economics, are employing the scientific method to research questions about what “happiness” is, and how it might be attained.”
And here I thought it was just a simple matter of an emotional high resulting from the achievement of some goal or a positive personal thing. It would seem that people, a lot smarter than I, have been pondering this same question and still haven't formulated a definitive answer. Who would have thought?

So now I am writing a book?

While I would love to say yes to the book idea, it is not as simple as that plonking my butt into my chair and bleeding on top of my keyboard (liberal paraphrase of the Hemingway quote - sorry!). For a start, I am no psychologist, but then the idea for the book is not about to write about happiness either.
I know, I am contradicting myself even as you read this. This seed of an idea still needs a lot more research before it could be considered a 'book idea'.
The problem I am invariably stuck with: how much research and what to read?
While I consider myself smart enough to know to stay away from the formal academic publications, several articles and suggested books have crossed my path in recent weeks. Luck? Or fate perhaps? While I believe that nothing ever happens without reason, I have started to read books and articles completely outside of my comfort zone.
Remember, I am an engineer, and any material to do with human behaviour or philosophy or psychology would generally make me green around the gills.
However, I found myself immersed in a new world and am fascinated by what I found.

Linzé Brandon, Live in Balance, Goals 2017

Connections, inter-connections, and threads that bind

While reading (and studying) these publications somewhere in subconscious mind I get the feeling that there are more to all of these topics than what I can see at first glance. Somewhere, somehow the topics of journal writing, happiness, achievements of goals, life and my Live in Balance goals are connected. Of course, very few things in this world stand independently on their own feet.
These connections, to my mind at least, are threads of lessons I have to learn or tie together in my quest to Live in Balance, and not only for this year.
While these threads have a logical connection, it is the non-rational, the non-academic, gut feel there-is-a-link-for-me that I have to find. Maybe you have found yours, or perhaps you are still seeking, but this journey for has turned into far more than I have anticipated when I made my list for 2017.

Now, about that book...

During the month of April, there are two challenges going out to the world for writers and bloggers: Camp NaNoWriMo and the A-to-Z Blog Challenge.
I have taken part in both and have as a result published books (fiction and non-fiction) afterward.
With Camp, I usually prefer fiction, while the blog challenge lends itself to both fiction and non-fiction. The problem is time and I don't have more than two hours per day during the week, about double that on weekends. So the solution was there before my eyes - I can do both at the same time.
Develop the book idea with blog posts, and it would be great if you offered your opinions as we go along. Then I can also use the words for my Camp target during April. Remember that word count target I have for my Live in Balance year?
*taking a deep breath here* It is not easy putting myself out there, but I believe that I can do it. What I also know is that feedback from you, my readers, could help to develop this seed into a good idea.
In fact, I think it could be a great idea with your help. Are you in?