|The Meeting Room before|
|The Meeting Room after (yes, I'm satisfied with that!)|
For those that know me, I'm confident that you don't think I permeate misery on a regular basis. In fact, I love a good laugh and often find humour in the most inappropriate of moments; but, if I'm honest, I really don't do happy very well. What I do best is satisfaction, which is a better substitute than, say, Quorn is for meat. The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes - surely the perfect casting choice for Grumpy? - goes so far as to say, "Laughter is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" (2:2 NIV) In his bah-humbug exploration of the world around him, he concludes, "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work." (2:24 NIV)
How does this apply to us writers? Well, how many of us are truly happy with what we have produced? There is always that nagging sense that we could have written it better: a better idea in the first place, a better development, a better use of words. We read what others have written and compare our own efforts, in my case usually unfavourably! But I suspect that even after multiple re-writes that particular author we admire may not have been entirely happy with the final draft.
I read quite recently a quote attributed to the great cellist Pablo Casals. When asked why he continued to practise at the age of 90, he replied, "Because I think I'm making progress." You see, we're never going to be perfect, but we can still find great satisfaction in giving it a go. Some days we may feel like the writer of Ecclesiastes that it's all meaningless and what's the point; but let's bash on anyway and be content with Satisfied if not entirely Happy.
Janey is the Creative Writer in Residence on the BBC Radio Norfolk Sunday Breakfast Show and a member of Premier Radio's Thought for the Day team. She blogs for ACW and other organisations and is a regular contributor to an online daily devotional. Her WiP is a novel birthed during NaNoWriMo 2015. She is leader of the ACW small group Brecks, Fens and Pens in West Norfolk. When not writing she works as a musician and interior designer.