Léna's Lit.Life

Léna (me): Lit, as in literature, Lit, as in light, Lit, as in a little kooky: Life.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Steadfast Detachment with Writing?

I am trying to practice what yogis call abhyasa vairagya in my writing life. (Abhyasa means practice, and vairagya means non-attachment in the Yoga Sutras.)
My mind has been flitting all over the place lately, distractable and irritable whenever I try to sit down and focus on my current WIP. At least I am sitting down, I tell myself. At least I am engaging in the practice. But I have monkey mind.

Is it that I am still waiting to hear about the book that's out on submission, The Land of The Lost and Found? Last I heard was that my editor loved it enough to pitch it to the sales team and several other colleagues at MacMillan and FSG. But in this crazy, fear-based market, there is no guarantee.

(My second book is actually my current WIP - it was rejected by FSG after they took half a year to think about it, and I put it in a drawer instead of sending it to other houses. I don't know whether that was the right decision or not, but now I am completely rewriting it into a different book.)

There is never any guarantee of anything. This is why I must keep practicing letting go of the results, while at the same time engaging in my discipline and finding beauty in my own process.

I love this pose - it makes me feel strong and balanced, and it shows intention to both reach for the sky and stay grounded.

And in the meantime, I am all jazzed up about my day tomorrow with Gae Polisner - I am driving to Port Washington, Long Island, where we will be speaking to students and leading workshops at Schreiber High School. Later, Gae has created an event at Dolphin Bookstore where we will meet up with five other authors - Matt Blackstone, Arlaina Tibensky, Christopher Grant, Michael Northrup and Nova Ren Suma. It won't be your mother's author appearance, that's for sure! So if you are in the nabe, come see us! We'll be there with our proverbial bells (and Gae's real one) from 5:30 until 9PM!!!

PS Wish me luck with the driving! (I'll have to practice more of the abhyasa . . .)


  1. "I love this pose - it makes me feel strong and balanced, and it shows intention to both reach for the sky and stay grounded." Lena, what a lovely sentence/image/thought--reflects the whole rest of this piece, reflects what you're choosing for yourself. And also, you are sitting down. YOU ARE SITTING DOWN! Go on girl--you are inspiring me at a time when I will do almost anything to avoid the sitting down. Thank you! xoxo

  2. Exactly what Jen said, and before that, exactly what you wrote. Oh, I needed this post today, to let go of results (whether those results are second book sales, first book sales numbers and/or awards nods, I need to let go of these all.) When we do that, we get back to what we really set out to do: write a good story, say something important or funny or entertaining to our readers that we think might be worth holding onto. And, Lena, can't wait until tomorrow.

  3. I need this reminder several times a day. I have s built-in forgetter - this is why I need the society of good folks like you!

  4. Good Morning Lena,

    I google the words 'steadfast' and 'detached' after my yoga class this am and up came your blog! Applying it to writing or..?.. beautiful idea.
    Breathe deep, seek peace my friend.
    Michelle (from the library)

  5. How cool is that???? So awesome - thanks for letting me know Michelle, this made me smile! xoxo

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