Like her four famous heroines, Terry McMillan has been on a journey to happiness.
In Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan introduced readers to four young African-American women trying to negotiate life and love. In her new book, her eighth, she reveals, in her characteristic don't-you-dare-feel-sorry-for-yourself way, how the women have fared over the past 15 years. The book is called Getting to Happy (Viking)—a journey McMillan, a single mother who weathered a bruising divorce from a younger man, knows plenty well. We asked her to give us some insight into how she got herself on the right road.

getting to happy
1. At one time, my anger felt like a termite eating away at my best self. So whenever I started clenching my teeth or thinking ugly things, I put the brakes on.

2. I made a conscious decision to start exercising, writing, meditating, and spending time with friends—and slowly my morale changed colors. I had been living like I was navy blue and started feeling pastels again.

3. I realized I am just as good standing alone as I am standing next to someone. No one can make you happier than you make yourself.

4. I began jumping up early in the morning to write so I could live inside my characters and not think about my own problems.

5. I remind myself that I am the architect of my life. To renovate my heart I have to go back to the drafting table.

Next: 10 ways to increase your happiness


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