I read a blogger called Limyaael for a while before she quit the blog business, presumably for the real world. Limyaael reviewed fantasy novels and dispensed her opinion in great rants that are still well worth reading, though I wouldn’t recommend any other writers mainline them. In a few of these rants, Limyaael introduced a concept called serious optimism, which she used to apply to the works of Terry Pratchett and others.
Serious optimism, if I can remember correctly, was a story trait in which there was a real possibility that things could turn out for the better and yet also the real possibility that things could get worse if people didn’t act. Limyaael said she adored stories that really featured this kind of attitude. I happen to think its a good concept as well because it ensures the characters are well motivated.
Of course, this post isn’t entitled ‘serious optimism’, but rather ‘Serious Joy’. And that is because I am motivated by achievable things in my own life. Yesterday I hit a fairly high wordcount goal for the first time in a long time. Today I’m going to hit it again. And I’m serious about my approach to this. Sometimes things have to be pushed aside to continue pursuing the goal I have set for myself. That is fine, as long as I accept what I have to give up. I want to write, even write freelance, more than I want to play online card games. So that’s what I will to do.
So that’s the serious part, the not doomed part is one part optimism, sure, but it is also what I call joy. Joy can be sought, if not always achieved, at will. As Gilgamesh tells Enkhidu when the prepare to fight Humbaba, “Let your heart inspire you to be joyous in battle.”
I’m not going to a mighty cedar forest to fight a monster, but I am writing today. And I will let myself be inspired to feel joy. And I will work as hard as I can to make my goal become my real foundation.
Have a good day, everyone!