Happiness, Happiness, Oh Beloved Happiness

Linda - Indianapolis, Indiana
Entered on January 15, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Write. Scribble. Write. That doesn’t make any sense. Scribble.

How about the computer? No. Just write.

Every evening in seventh grade, I spent my time locked up in my bedroom, writing. Not just anything, the possibilities of someone who already existed in my minute world.

In reality, Jon Walker and Patrick Stump were just a couple Chicago musicians, but in the pages of my blue rotting composition notebook, they were more. They were lost souls writing a piece of work that revolved that one person that they had yet to find or sometimes they were greedy gamblers that front manned two rival mafias. Fanfiction is what someone told me it was, the stories of someone who’d become obsessed.

I graciously accepted my gift to write the fanfiction, thinking of more detailed and elaborate plot lines that revolved around more of what I thought people wanted to read about; celebrities such as Pete Wentz, William Beckett, even Hayley Williams. But were they really any good?

Taking the old composition notebook and my timidity, I pushed away all doubt and decided to get feedback on my writing from my friends. This even lead to a group editing session among our ‘brat pack’, talking about how we could make Holly’s ditzy being stand out or what we liked most about William’s biting attitude. I guessed I liked the attention because I only kept writing more, becoming completely thirsty for new, yet cliché pairings, something that they wanted.

Jon’s mother kicks him out and he…no.

Hayley’s unsure of what her sexuality is? Still not so appealing.

I’d take those stories to lunch and have my friends just simply glance at them, receiving a ‘nice job’ or ‘it’s good’. I wanted something more than that. I wanted ‘extraordinary’.

Soon enough, I lost the writing itself. Not in the sense of being unsure of what to put on the page next, but how to make them weep and howl for more. Something that they’d return to or think about once a day…something that they wanted to read.

No longer was I doing the stories for myself and my personal interest, but theirs.

When they said to make her more stereotypical, I did. When they shouted Nick Jonas, I gave it to them. When they drowned me in sparkling subscriptions to my blog, I’d stay up late trying to come up with a chapter quick enough, throwing my schoolwork aside.

I was becoming an ‘authoress mess’.

After having deleted several stories with only one chapter, I decided that I would quit since the ideas were no longer my own, but their creation. I stopped writing for a few weeks, but that didn’t stop my brain from finding the possibilities.

Who was the girl behind Travis’ songs?

Who would stand by the Jonas Brothers when they took their tumbling downfall three years after being at the top?

I once believed in doing things for yourself at one point, but where had that sense of belief gone?

I learned that I had lost my pursuit of happiness. No longer was I passionate writer about what I wrote, but a cold-hearted critic. I was objectifying what made me laugh and weep about my narratives. I no longer sought the need to pursue happiness, but despised it.

One night, I took a stand, creating a list of topics that I wanted to encounter in my writing.

Love. Drama. Murder. Horror. The list seemed to be endless. Reading through it a few times, I found something was missing.

Happiness. I smiled warmly at the word, embracing it with open arms as I scribbled it on the page.

Ever since then, I never overlooked the word once, using it in my stories when things just seemed to go right in a character’s life. I used it when someone read online and commented. And lastly, I used it when I put my pen to the page wrote for my existence.

Happiness, happiness, oh beloved, happiness.