Writing and Buddhism



A quote from George Saunders, speaking at Ohio University this month:

"I felt like I was a Buddhist before I knew it, because writing . . . well, what else is it? You put something down on Thursday, and if you get attached to the idea of how good it was on Thursday, then on Friday you're screwed. But if you let it be a new story, then you can see what it needs and go on and on."

Photo credit: Bruce Barone

Comments

Joni Rodgers said…
Yes.

I always say writers have to adopt the mantra of Sidhartha: I can fast, I can pray, I can wait.
Mylène said…
Lovely, Joni.
I've been thinking about this a lot, actually, so it's funny that you brought it up, Mylene. It's something I'm going through right now, trying to figure out how to balance having such a great passion for my work with the whole "nonattachment to results" thing that Joni and my friend Lindsey are always talking about. My problem is that if I'm really not attached, I don't have the fire to work as hard. I still work, just not as HARD. I tend to need that kernel of arrogance and ambition to push me forward, as well as a warrior's energy, but sometimes I think that's counter to the whole Buddhist philosophy.

And then of course I'm coming from a triumphal Christian background, and THAT has also been a lot to reconcile. It's why I've gone from Baptist to Lutheran during the course of writing the book. At least the Lutherans sing in minor key.

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