A note from the founder

Lori Snyder


The Writers Happiness Movement grew out of my absolute conviction that it’s possible to build a world (and a life!) that places kindness, true joy, people, and the creative arts above money. This has led me through a large number of careers: writer, marine biologist, yoga teacher, and freelance book editor, to name a few. In 2015, I started leading retreats for writers that offer distraction-free writing time with a yoga chaser. These retreats were, perhaps, the most direct impetus for the Writers Happiness Movement.

Most writers come to these retreats with a game plan: what they want to write, revise, accomplish. In the opening circle for those retreats, I always suggest that instead of making this yet another place where we beat ourselves up for not writing, that everyone there simply pay attention to what it is they actually need. Maybe it’s sleep, maybe it’s time to walk in nature, maybe it’s sitting and reading a book.

And at every retreat, I watch as an amazing thing happens: people relax and come home to themselves. By the time we get to the last day’s closing circle, almost every writer reports that they took that advice to heart. They slept in, went for long walks, or talked with other writers…and that even with (or, perhaps, because of) taking that time, they still ended up meeting or surpassing their original writing goals. Even more wonderful is that they were heading back into their lives feeling as though they had actually been on retreat: refreshed and ready to return home.

The more I watched this happen, the more I wanted to make this experience available to any writer who wanted it. It took a while to figure out how. But this is what the Writers Happiness Movement is built for: creating and holding sanctuary—both external and internal, both literal and figurative—for writers of all kinds. It’s a sancuary that I hope helps all of us move into the world remembering who we are, able to show up as our truest selves and write what it is we want to write. That is what every happiness tools for writer is meant to do; it’s what the financial structure is meant to hold; and it’s the heart of the Writers Happiness Movement.

While I have a wide and varied background of study and career, let me be clear that I am not a happiness “expert.” I am human. I cry, rage, mourn, feel inferior, get frustrated, and have days that just don’t feel good. What I am is someone who cares intensely about a life well lived, whatever that means for each of us. True happiness, to me, isn’t something to pursue or “get.” Rather, it’s a place we can all step into and help each other maintain, all while being ourselves.

Like everything in life, the Writers Happiness Movement is really a grand experiment. Let’s see what we can build, shall we?

With love,

Lori Snyder (she/her)
Founder of the Writers Happiness Movement


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But what does happiness have to do with writing, anyway?