Of all the things I can think of that will infuse your work with creativity and energy, that will help you focus and take satisfaction in what you do, joy tops the list.
Joy is a different than happiness.
Happiness is often circumstantial. It’s pretty common to be happy in response to something.
Joy is more permanent. It’s a deep feeling that things are possible, that goodness is real, and that there is always something to be grateful for. It’s a sense of meaning and connection.
We all have joy, but the volume setting can change.
If your joy volume is turned down to an inaudible level, you’re going to find it difficult to get motivated. It will be hard to get excited. You can still get things done, but you slog through rather than owning your day.
When your joy volume is turned up, creativity flows through you like a river in flood season. And if you have problems with focus, it’s because there are so many things you’re excited to tackle, it’s hard to choose what to work on.
Joy makes it seem like anything is possible, while also making it feel like what is, is pretty okay too.
So how do you turn the volume up on your joy, so you can tap into that natural deep well of energy and creativity that’s within you?
In my experience, joy stems from connection, purpose, and exertion. And by exertion, I don’t mean physical exertion (although that can qualify). I mean throwing yourself into something with your whole heart.
There are a million ways to boost your joy. And what works for me might not work for you, but to get you started, these joy-makers tend to be pretty universal.
Connect with someone: Go out to dinner with your spouse and treat it like a first date where you’re getting to know each other all over again. Invite an old friend over and stay up late talking about all your hopes and dreams. Volunteer at a soup kitchen and talk to the people you’re serving. Connection happens when you see someone for who they are and they see you right back.
Dream big: Take a night to yourself. Make your favorite beverage. Grab a pad of paper and a pen and write about your dreams. Don’t censor yourself. Be whimsical. Let your imagination run away. Once your hand is tired and starting to cramp up from all the scribbling, read what you’ve written and see if there are any themes that resonate with you. Those usually speak to a purpose — something bigger you’d like to be doing with your life. Next, think about small things you can do every day that let that purpose shine through… and then start doing those things.
Exertion: Think about all the things you love doing. On my list you’ll find things like reading, writing, soccer, stargazing, backpacking, and cooking. And then carve out an extra-big block of time to do that thing. Make an insanely elaborate dinner. Complete a puzzle. Go for a walk and snap pictures for a photo essay. Take a whole day to just read.
Making time for these kinds of activities will turn up the volume on your joy. And even just a little shift can make you feel more motivated and excited about everything you do.
New on the Site
Every successful writer was, at one time, just getting started. In the early days, you’ll find building momentum is key. Once you get some momentum going, it tends to snowball into good things. In this post from John Torre, you’ll find 10 things you can do to get your ball rolling a little faster.
Actively feeling grateful is another way to tap into your joy. In this week’s Reality Blog, Tracy Wilson talks about some of the things she is most grateful for on her writer’s journey. Check out what she has to say for a little inspiration.
Don’t forget about the November Practice Assignment. This month, we’re focusing on Sponsored Content, a growing opportunity for web writers. Check out the details here.
Mark Your Calendar
November 28: Join us for an inspiring member success story. Steven Maurer, a B2B copywriter, shares his journey from just getting started and working for a few dollars per post to where he is today, getting paid hundreds of dollars per post. Join us to hear how Steve has grown his business, gained confidence, landed clients, and increased his fees.
November 29: During this live webinar, I’ll be discussing Sponsored Content… what it is, and what it means to you as a writer. Plus, we’ll look at examples and review Practice Assignment submissions from your fellow members. Join us!
December 5: If you want to set yourself up for your best year yet, join us for the December Monthly Member Update. I’ll share some tips on setting goals and some more tips on making them happen. Then we’ll talk about new content and wrap up with a live Q&A. Hope I’ll “see” you there.
Around the Web
This page from Copyblogger is worth studying to see how to put together a good round-up post for the week. And clicking through to the articles isn’t a bad idea either.
So you stumbled across a job posting for a blogger. And you love the topic. What should you do? Here are 10 things to keep in mind as you apply.
What if you could sit down with Seth Godin for half an hour and pick his brain about marketing? That’s what Marie Forleo did, and you can listen to the results here.
Is getting up early worth losing sleep over? You be the judge.
That’s all for now. And have a great Thanksgiving!