I think about happiness a lot. I'm not the happiest person ever. I might have previously described myself as a cynic who doesn't want to be a cynic. The happiness thing is a work in progress and I don't even know where I am.
But I got thinking a lot about happiness when I started uploading videos. I'm doing craft tutorials. I started wondering what else I could do. New mediums are exciting. But I started to feel like so much content is dedicated to being unhappy in some way. Maybe I could make videos about things I like and why I like them! And then in comes the critical voice saying 'that's immature'. Nobody wants to watch videos about things people love. Nobody's going to read a blog called 'Your Fave Is Really Great, Actually.'
Well, who knows? Maybe they would. But it's the sort of head voice I struggle with a lot, telling me to be cynical because happy doesn't sell, but snark, rage, and sarcasm do.
I struggled with it with Ryll too. Ryll is a flimsy, happy, candy coloured sort of land, and I'll be the first to admit that I did that on purpose. It's not perfect, antagonists exist, struggle exists, but I specifically set it up so there wouldn't be too much struggle. The kiarrs live in a world that's a lot friendlier than ours, and was created both in and out of universe to be so. I did that on purpose because I was fed up with dystopias. I wanted some happiness in my escapism for once. Dystopia does nothing for me.
But my intro to Ryll is defensive. Pre-emptively so. Not because anyone's sent any rude comments, but because my own mind is saying it's immature and childish and silly, and I feel the need to say yes, I know all that, I made it anyway because that was what I wanted, and if your tastes are darker, that's OK. Because it totally is. I don't want to claim that happiness in a creation is superior to cynicism or dystopia, just that happiness seems to be be suspect to the point where I feel the need to pre-emptively apologise for it.
And I wish I didn't feel like I had to. Maybe one day I'll be better at this whole happiness deal. Because I don't think it's such a bad thing to spread some cheer. We're so wired to look for bad things. Maybe it's worth challenging those instincts and letting yourself smile a bit more.