Happiness, Satisfaction, or Doughnuts?
I’m a writer. That’s what I do. Three novels and one comic, along with a random seasoning of short stories can attest to that.
Over this last year, thanks to the extra time… given… to us by the world’s health scare, I have started three new novels and been endlessly editing another comic. Does that sound productive?
Don’t be too impressed. There is a reason I used the word “started” and not “finished”. Despite having extra time, I have actually found it more difficult to focus on my work.
I don’t think I’m alone here. Since I was given the opportunity to write this article, I have even been putting it off. I started to ask myself, “Self, why are you being so lazy?”.
“Well, lazy isn’t completely accurate,” myself replied. Then what is the best way to describe it?
It all comes down to why I do what I do, why you do what you do, what we do what we do. Ultimately, it’s because all of us want to be happy.
I don’t mean the just momentary, smiling wide happy like I get from eating doughnuts. I think I’m being inaccurate again.
A better word than “happy” may be “satisfied”. Getting what you want from the results of your actions. (Again, eating doughnuts may apply here but your waistline would likely argue.)
So what haven’t I been getting from my writing over the last year that I had been getting the years before? Oddly enough I think that, in the lonely work of writing, I found satisfaction in the interacting with people.
It started with the people in my head (who I have always thought were more interesting than I am). Then it became introducing them to people at book launches, signings, and conventions. That was the part that has been missing for the last year.
Several months ago, I joined an organization called the Fraternal Order of Eagles. “People helping people” was right on the sign in front of the building. It is a fine group of people I highly recommend you check out when you have a moment.
What does this have to do with anything I have talked about thus far? It will all come together in a moment.
The Eagles often run fundraisers for local charities. A short time ago, they were looking for ideas to do just that.
That was when I had a two birds with one stone moment. Okay, that may not be the best analogy in a group called Eagles but we’ll just go with it.
I remembered really enjoying going to conventions, talking to people, introducing them to my characters and their stories. I also remembered that it was a decent part of my income, selling the books I wrote that introduced said people to those that lived in my head.
And the Eagles meet in a nice, wide open building. Could we actually hold a convention there? It would be a small one (it’s a meeting hall and not a convention center, after all) to be sure, but it would be a chance to interact with people again!
It would also make money for a local charity. In this specific case an organization called Solace Tree. They provide grief counseling for children, teens, and adults. Truly a worthy goal, I hope you would agree.
Remember that “people helping people” thing? The Fraternal Order of Eagles thought a convention was a good idea. But wouldn’t holding a convention be kind of self serving then?
Well, as I have been asking people in the community if they will come to the convention that we have come to call Aerie-Con, I have been pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm that they have shared at the idea of a new convention coming to town.
So, is Aerie-Con self serving? In all honesty, I would have to say yes. But, after all, I am people, too! There is nothing that says you can’t enjoy yourself while trying to do some good in the world.
Actually, raising funds for Solace Tree is the stated goal of Aerie-Con but it is more than that. Humanity, no matter how nerdy or introverted, is still a social creature. So the convention is also bringing people together and this brings us back to the two birds with one stone!
To synopsize: in deciding to try and make others happy, I am finding myself becoming happier as well.
Maybe that’s the secret. If you want to be happy, try making others happy. It’s even more satisfying than doughnuts.
You can find out more about Spencer, as well as links to his books, on his website: www.authorspencerstoner.com
Aerie-Con will be held on August 20-21, 2021. You can find the event page on Facebook here:
To see Spencer Stoner’s previous interview on MTA, go here:
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