Golden Moment

With my boys at their dad’s house last weekend, I spent Sunday night watching the Golden Globes alone, while also doing final edits and revisions on my Harlequin manuscript, and I have to tell you, it was one of my favorite nights in a long time.

The edits and revisions were hard—harder than I expected them to be—but the Golden Globes were wonderful, not just because I love film and award shows, but because I learned something important.  I realized that it’s not enough to be recognized for one’s work.  There must also be joy in it. Success means nothing if there is no pleasure in the process, much less pride and pleasure in the completion.

People ask me what drives me, and I say the creative impulse. (As well as a fair amount of neurosis.) But there’s something else that helps me weather the difficulties and ups and downs, and that’s the joy I feel in creating something new. It’s the joy I feel in collaborating with others—agents, editors, writers. It’s the joy I feel in building a community with fellow readers and writers. It’s the joy of being.

We have to make sure we don’t just get by.

We have to make sure we don’t subsist.

And we have to make sure we open our minds, our hearts, and lives to joy.

Unfettered joy. Which would also include exuberance, laughter, hope, and love.

We have to believe in our hearts that we deserve this joy, and we can have it, and we can share it.

Once I thought I had to be number one at things. Had to be a number one on a chart or list. Had to be a number one so I knew I was valuable. But then something happened. No, I didn’t become number one. I didn’t become a leader of anything. But I became hugely, immensely happy, and felt hugely, immensely blessed.

And this sense of peace came from shifting from external rewards to internal. Counting my blessings. Bleeping out negative self-talk. Making daily choices that made me feel good instead of bad. Surrounding myself with positive people and positive experiences. Accepting that I didn’t have to be perfect, and then coming to terms with failure. I will fail. People fail. Failure is part of life, as well as part of success. Now my life is rich and I’m calmer and so much happier.

Numbers and rankings, advances, reviews and other status symbols pale compared to the riches of my life—good friends, wonderful family, a complex inner world and an adventurous life. I’ll leave the numbers and rankings to the accountants and marketing gurus. Numbers and rankings—including the weight on a scale or the size of our paycheck—do not signify happiness, and they certainly don’t capture joy.

Joy is simple. Joy isn’t complicated. And best of all, joy is free.


  1. I love what you just wrote- the last lines were perfect- I’m going to use them- (and I’ll give credit to you…) in an e-mail I’m sending to a co worker. We were talking about our outside interests (from the job that pays us) and the things we do to feed our souls….and wouldn’t it be great if they could be one and the same.

  2. There have been times in my live when I lived in the moment and felt the joy, but other times when it is a struggle – like now. Your message makes it sound so simple, and I wish it was and I know it isn’t always and probably wasn’t for you, either. Sometimes choices cause pain at first, but finally result in changes that bring on the joy. I am trying to do better, and it is inspirational to know you got there and that it is possible. So, bring it on, bring on the JOY!

  3. Strange… is one of the things that made my husband and I turn around and change everything last year. We had a home that was sucking the joy out of our existence: living in the country in Washington is beautiful but well water, falling trees and the upkeep is not.

    So we let it go and moved into an apartment building. Less responsibilities and time for FUN. PURE FUN. It seems like some people we know think we are crazy. But I bet we laugh a lot more than they do and I know we laugh more than WE used to..

  4. I choose joy and happiness. Your life is what you make it and it can only make you happy with it. Of course we are not all perfect but where would the fun be in that? It kind of makes me think of the people who think their houses have to look like museums…where it doesn’t look like a family lives in it. My house is not perfect but the people in it are happy and healthy…To me, that is all that matters.

    Have a great day and remember to smile:) And if you need to laugh, get in touch with a friend who can do that for you!! I have some friends, especially my internet friends, who can make me laugh until I cry:)

  5. Yes Indeed!
    A positive attitude is medicine for the body and soul.
    And pure joy found in the simple things of everyday life is wealth beyond the material things.
    Thank you for this today Jane!

  6. What a wonderful way to start the day! Thank you for the gentle reminder of what life really is all about!



  7. Thank you, Jane. Today was a rather difficult and annoying day, and your perspective helped put me back on the track on contentment.

  8. So many times I hear people say ‘I just want to be happy.’ I always tell them to seek joy, b/c without joy you can not find happiness!!!

  9. Thanks for putting the words i have been searching for down on your blog. I have been searching for joy, the joy in my heart and in my life. I’m going through a challenging time in my life and I think you said it all. I really needed it.

  10. perfect!

    I truly needed to read these words today – and didn’t realize it til I read them.
    THANKS :o)

    Things, like wording a small paragraph with basic beliefs, in a way that is inspiring – – is what makes you fantastic at what you do Janie – numbers & rankings be damned.

    peace out

  11. We have to believe in our hearts that we deserve this joy, and we can have it, and we can share it.

    This is precisely why I loved FLIRTING so much. You show how Jackie goes from someone who has misery thrust on her to someone who makes room for happiness in her life till happiness is who she is. I loved that book so much. So much.

  12. Hi Jane,
    How are you feeling these days? Get any snow this morning?

    I can’t wait for your new book to come out. Will it be available on kindle?

  13. Love this post – I see this more and more – the wonder of living in joy. Keep sharing the information.

    I love your books though haven’t ready Mrs. Perfect yet. I really enjoy your blog even if I don’t comment.

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