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Never Happier Than When Writing

J.K. Rowling has said of herself as a child: “I was shy. I was a mixture of insecurities and very bossy to my sister but quite quiet with strangers. Very bookish. Terrible at school.”

She was also “never happier than when reading or writing.”

From my post J.K. Rowling: an ordinary and extraordinary childhood.

Feeling happiness or other positive emotions has a strong connection with being creative, according to a number of research studies.

A PBS / This Emotional Life page on Creativity summarizes:

“There’s a link between creativity and positive emotions and, ultimately, happiness. Researchers have found that people are more likely to have a creative breakthrough if they were happy the day before. Creativity is less likely to be present with negative emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, and anxiety; it is positively associated with positive emotions such as joy, love, and curiosity.”

The page further explains, “Positive emotions and creativity make us feel interested in the world around us. The ability to be fascinated and allow ourselves to explore and discover makes us feel open and alive. It’s also what draws us to learn new skills, perspectives, and ideas—resources that we can draw on to solve life’s problems. This boosts our resilience and our satisfaction with life—both part of the equation for overall happiness.”

Three sources are listed for this page:

Psychology Today

Book: Positivity, by Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD.

Article: The 6 Myths of Creativity, Fast Company
– An excerpt: “We found that creativity is positively associated with joy and love and negatively associated with anger, fear, and anxiety…people are happiest when they come up with a creative idea, but they’re more likely to have a breakthrough if they were happy the day before. There’s a kind of virtuous cycle.” – From my post Myths Of Creativity in Business.

Create to please yourself

Philip Pullman is the author of several best-selling books, such as the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, which includes The Golden Compass. In 2008, The Times [UK] named him one of the “50 greatest British writers since 1945”. [Wikipedia]

Pullman once commented about writing: “The only thing you need to do is forget about pleasing other people, and aim to please yourself alone.

“That way, you’ll have a chance of writing something that other people WILL want to read, because it’ll take them by surprise.

“It’s also much more fun writing to please yourself.”

From my post Philip Pullman on Creative Inspiration: Write to Please Yourself.

Do you find you are more creative and productive when you are happy, writing or otherwise creating for yourself rather than “the marketplace” or other people?


Never Happier Than When Writing

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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Some excerpts from The Creative Mind are included in his newsletter .
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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2012). Never Happier Than When Writing. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 8, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Aug 2012
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