Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Smile, breathe and go slowly

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zen21Going back to zen practice is a good strategy to handle the small acts of daily brutality that seem to be part of the deal when you start writing – be it a blog, a series of ebooks or anything public.
Stick out, speak your mind, tell your story, and somebody will decide that putting you in your place is their life’s ultimate mission.

After all that’s one of the perks of writing, right?
We motivate people.
We put something in their lives.

So, considering I got myself three king-sized servings of brutality this last week, I went back to my zen books and resources, looking for some quick-and-dirty wisdom.

I found this

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Yes, exactly.
And have a good laugh.

Having a good laugh at the jerks is certainly the best practice – and it also helps us avoid becoming jerks ourselves. Because it is quite easy to react brutally to brutality, and when that happens, you are being as bad as the person in front of you.
And you are sort of confirming they are right, they are justified in their hostility.

So, ok, it happens.
And indeed, we already have to deal with rejection slips, with long lists of editorial revisions for our manuscripts, and even with negative reviews.
And we must learn to handle those professionally.
So why not the jerks, too?

lots of children at your book presentation, you’ll have to act the clown, but you’re good at it

OK.
Why punch him in the face?
Sure, the children attending the presentation would probably enjoy a bit of action but…

Breathe.
Put the situation in perspective1.
Have a good laugh.

After all we can’t control others, we can only take our own decision.
And the decision of not acting like a jerk, the decision of showing a modicum of class is always a winner.

“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” – Chuang Tzu

Nice and smooth.


  1. who is this guy anyway? 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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