The last few weeks, I’ve been taking an online Yale class called The Science of Well-Being. The focus of this psychology class is basically discovering what it is that makes people happy. One of first things that you do is fill out a profile that helps you discover your core strengths. Not surprisingly, my five top strengths are:
- Creativity which includes artistic creativity but also new ways to think of and do things.
- Love of learning, related to curiosity (my sixth strength), including new skills, topics and areas of knowledge.
- Judgement sounded bad until I realized that they mean my ability to think things through and examine them from all sides, weigh information, and if needed change my mind.
- Gratitude for and awareness of the good things that happen as well as a willingness to express this thanks.
- Bravery concerning acting on or speaking up about what is right even if it is unpopular.
These are the things that make me a good nonfiction author.
But I have also been taking time to use my creativity and love of learning in ways that don’t necessarily involve my writing. By keeping some things at a “fun” or casual level, I have a little more freedom just to enjoy them. Fun non-work things are a great way to recharge my creative battery.
So what am I doing? The photos in this post are something of a hint.
I’ve pulled the camera back out. This means that not only am I polishing (sort of) my photography skills, I am also paying more attention to the things that I appreciate. In the spring that means flowers and hummingbirds. I jokingly call this particular bird my muse. This feeder is in the center arch on our front porch and the bird will let me walk past it to go inside.
To be a writer, you have to write. You have to read. But you also have to feed your happiness. For me that means being creative, learning new skills and doing things that make me grateful.