Finding Joy

I have a essay in Writes of Passage that is entitled “Best Advice Ever: Don’t Forget To Be Happy”. It is from a piece of advice that Hank Phillippi Ryan gave me when I first got my book contract, and wasn’t sure how I was going to make it all work–writing a book while running a non-profit while teaching a class while being a sister/aunt/friend/human being.

joyShe told me she had faith in me that I’d figure it out. Then she told me to stop for a moment, and acknowledge the moment. Don’t automatically move the goal post down the field. Stop for a minute, and remember to be happy.

This week, I thought about that quote again. After a few back and forths on revisions over the past three months, my editor let me know my book was going to copyediting. One step closer to publication. (Next fall, trust me, you’ll hear lots more about it!)

Instead of being happy (which I am), my first impulse was to worry about Book #2. Right away. And then I thought about a conversation I had with a friend recently about finding joy, and how hard that truly is. Especially when we don’t take the time to look for it, or to stop and remember to be happy.

Lesson learned (for today). And my first resolution for 2015. Remember to be happy. And find the joy. Even when you buy it at Target, (see above), and it lights up.

Yes, it looks great in my apartment.

Happy Holidays, dear readers. Hope you can find some joy during this season.

This entry was posted in Julie's posts by J.A. Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.A. Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes

J.A. (Julie) Hennrikus writes the Clock Shop Mystery Series (JUST KILLING TIME (2015), CLOCK AND DAGGER (2016), CHIME AND PUNISHMENT(2017)) under the name Julianne Holmes, the Theater Cop series (A CHRISTMAS PERIL(2017)) as J.A. Hennrikus, and the upcoming Garden Squad series as Julia Henry. Julie is an arts administrator and arts advocate. She tweets her writing life as @JHAuthors, and her other life as @JulieHennrikus. She is on Instagram as @JAHenn. Her website is, and she blogs with and

22 thoughts on “Finding Joy

  1. When I first started writing, more than a decade ago, it felt better than sex, drugs and rock and roll combined. I felt giddy and breathless each time I sat down at the keyboard.

    That’s still pretty much true. There’s a lot of business stuff and promotional stuff, not to mention editing and re-editing, that comes with publishing, but that moment when you sit and open a new chapter and the characters start talking to you–that’s the easy part, and that’s where the joy lies.

    Enjoy it!

  2. So true, and such a great reminder as we move through this holiday season that can feel like running around with an endless tasklist.

    Congratulations on this momentous milestone. And like Hank said, enjoy it.

  3. Pingback: Taking Stock | Live to Write - Write to Live

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