Summary of The Write to Happiness

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Write to Happiness book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Applicable
  • Engaging
  • Insider's Take


Veteran screenwriter Samantha Shad finds that stories are fertile ground for working out problems because narrative is the essential language of the brain. She packs a lot into her short, readable two-part book – showing first how to “write to happiness,” and then giving the scientific reasons why storytelling works for your brain. By pairing a step-by-step guide on how to write  fictitious, therapeutic stories with a survey of neuroscience and storytelling conventions, Shad shows with great empathy that making up stories is how humans compose and understand their lives. The brain is geared for stories, so writing one – yes, now you can – is a powerful way to understand and resolve life’s dilemmas.

About the Author

Former entertainment law attorney Samantha Shad has written more than 20 screenplays for major Hollywood studios, including Class Action. She is also the author of Write Through The Crisis: How To Make Good Use of Bad Times.



Writing a story is a personal journey. 

Each story you create is an experience of “writing to happiness.” A writer can find both personal answers and universal insights by plying the craft of storytelling. 

To begin, identify the “arena” or setting for your story. The story’s “nub” usually will be a subject that is bothering you. Conjure a main character with a goal, and imagine the obstacles he or she must overcome to achieve that goal. Then follow the basic rules of writing to happiness:

  1. “Follow the rules of storytelling” – Stories have a beginning, a middle and an end, a hero and villain, helper characters, hardships the main character must beat, and a theme.
  2. “Stay focused” – Tell a simple story. Don’t let multiple characters and subplots distract you.
  3. “Make friends with your subconscious mind – The essence of your story is within you. Let the words emerge, and you will find it.
  4. “Finish the story with a real ending” – No sudden inventions, heroes or ...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Powered by Storytelling
Hope and Other Superpowers
You Were Born to Speak

Related Channels

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    R. N. 4 months ago
    Good Read ...Choosing the words to involve the person delivering the attached morale makes story meaningful to readers. Happiness is amplifying the story by involving each individual life story as its own.