What about doing things just for the joy of it?

Last week I wrote about protecting ourselves from our dreams.

I want to continue the conversation around the notion of doing things just for the joy of them, even if they don’t “happen” the way we want them too.

This is a tough one for me.

I love to dream big and see the possibilities that can be available to us — to imagine things reaching the outcome I want them to have.

And yet, like we talked about last week, what if we don’t get those outcomes? Does that mean we’ve failed? Or that our dreams weren’t worth pursuing?

I don’t think so, though I have to admit I would be disappointed if I never sold a book or a screenplay.


But, but, but.

What if I loved writing so much that I wanted to do it anyway, no matter what the outcome?

We’re always told that we should focus on the things we love so much that we’d do them for free, right?

I think there is powerful truth in that, but I have to confess that I’ve never really believed it up until now. And even today, on a day when writing has been much harder for me than I would like, I can tell you that I love it. And I would do it for free, without guarantee of outcome or success.

That’s a huge step for me. To acknowledge the joy of doing something so much that it doesn’t matter what happens with it.

Doesn’t mean I won’t try.

Doesn’t mean I won’t feel disappointed if it doesn’t “happen” the way I imagine.

But it does mean that I intend to enjoy it every step of the way.

Your Turn

What about you? What do love to do just for the joy of it? What have you been secretly longing to try that you suspect you might find that kind of joy in?

Tell us about it.




Coming Attractions

~> March 19th, 2012. The next session of my Writer’s Circle starts. Get my Free Writing Tips series too, and receive a coupon for a savings on your first 4 week session. Sign up here.

~> March 29th, 2012. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group. Details coming soon! One spot is already taken so if you’d like to nab one, email us now.


What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU, which was recently named the #1 screenwriting class by InkTip. They’re offering a free class called, “21 Steps to a Professional Rewrite” this Sunday if you’re interested. Details. It’s a great class that provides a ton of value for screenwriters and may be helpful for novelists too.

~> Daily and especially Fridays. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

~> Still haven’t watched Super Eight but squeezed in Cowboys & Aliens over the weekend. It wasn’t QUITE what I was hoping for but still fun to see.



  1. Things I love to do for the joy of them: I love to go to costume balls, or just Halloween parties and completely transform myself with makeup, clothing and costume. I love makeup – from regular ‘conventional’ makeup, to theatrical, to transformative. I have transformed myself into Satan and Captain Jack Sparrow, and I am a fairly feminine woman most of the time! Other favorite ‘characters’ I’ve embodied have been Dolly Parton, Stevie Nicks, Siouxsie Sioux, and variations on themes of Goth/Renaissance/Drag Queen. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to dress up and become someone else. If the character calls for a particular accent, I am happy to oblige as well. Perhaps acting is in my future???

    • Fabulous, Alice!! I can see this spinning into so many different possibilities — acting being at the top of the list. Costuming, creating theatrical experiences for people, who knows? Wonderful ideas!

  2. This is something I’ve danced with (albeit quite awkwardly at times) for much of my life. I am absolutely passionate about nature, and photographing and writing about it brings me profound joy. I always have had a ‘regular’ job that I relied on to support myself so that when I had the resources to do so, I could pursue my passion…
    Ironically (or serendipitously, depending on how one chooses to look at it!) my ‘regular’ work as a landscape contractor has dried up. I live in a place where winter is sometimes 6 months long. This generally means that I need to make my annual income in a maximum of 7 months. When the economy is good, that’s not too daunting a task, but in the current economy it’s virtually impossible. I’ve had a lot of time to pursue my passion, and I have been tapping into a reservoir of joy and satisfaction that before I never knew even existed…
    It’s challenging, especially when I reflect on the position I’m in at the moment, what with quite a bit of debt piling up. To an outsider it probably would look like I’m completely off my rocker, but look me in the eyes, and that will tell you that I am so alive and invigorated from living my dream. I like what is happening to my greater self. I am nourished in ways that give my life so much more of a sense of purpose! At times I still feel the inclination to berate myself for not ‘working for a living’, but that doesn’t hold a candle to the joy I’m familiar with now, and besides, I lived like a zombie for way too long. And as soon as a book contract comes along that affirms for me that my new direction is the one my soul has been yearning for, I’m taking all of the naysayers in my life out to dinner at a really good restaurant!
    The fruits of my labor are culminating in my first book which will be done in the spring. And if you’d like to help me get a few steps closer, You’re more than welcome to jump on my bandwagon:


  3. Love this post Jenna as it is a great reminder to those of us who may not have always connected to doing things “just because they are fun” since childhood…. Heck, just for the fun of it, I decided this year to make a list of things I used to love to do before I started doing things “to be the best.” I couldn’t remember that far back. Seems striving “to be the best” at everything I do is well engrained in me. :)
    So, I decided to change it to what do I love “being the best I can be” at doing, simply put, what do I love “the process” of doing? Yep, that helped. My short list: loving, riding horses, writing, taking photos/capturing/recording/acknowledging beauty in all its forms, in the world around us, singing, dancing, rowing, coaching, learning, exploring, traveling, realizing and growing my potential, inspiring others to realize and grow their own potential, and connecting with others on creative, soul-filled paths.
    I’ve begun with the loving and riding horses, and yes, I am still writing….daily….thanks to the inspiration & habit formation spurred by your Writer’s Circle this past fall…
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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