Editing and Buddhism

Up again at 5am and got through three more chapters of Slick. I’m up to about 7,500 words edited in total with a net gain of around 800 from the original manuscript. I can see the story from fresh eyes, which is making it both enjoyable to read and productive as far as the editing process goes.I received more submissions for the anthology. I’m really enjoying reading through them all and it now looks as though I may have more contributors than originally offered last June. Some of the ‘doubtfuls’ have committed so it could be a fair size book. Lots to do though, and it could take a couple of weeks to get most of them in. Which is fine. No huge hurry with it, but it’s good being able to put my publishing experience to good use on a project like this.

Work was totally dire and very warm. The air-con is a joke, it just doesn’t know whether it should be on or off. My plain-bread sandwiches for lunch were the highlight of the working day. It’s the sort of bread that is best toasted though, so long as one has a toaster long enough to accommodate the length of the slices.

What am I talking about?

I was round at FIL’s getting a huge marble mantle-piece into position in his house. It weighs a tonne – no joke – and tomorrow morning I’ll go back round to install it fully. It has to be done this weekend, and once it’s in I’m off through to Glasgow to see my sister for a wee bit then meeting a couple of mates for a wee drink. Nothing serious. Not like the last couple of weeks!

Devon’s post yesterday about ‘detachment’ in Buddhism really set me thinking.

The last thing I want is for my artistic passion and focus to be lost through this aspect of Buddhism, and were that the case, I would take less notice of the text.

But that’s not how I understood ‘detachment’ when I read it and applied it to myself. I took it as being able to focus better through one’s “third eye” to quote Rebecca McClanahan in her book, Word Painting. This is the ability to see things more clearly, focussed if need be, detached or abstract elsewhere. In this respect I never thought about it as s a “block”, instead I saw it is a way of training my artistic view of the world to be more receptive and less emotional.

This won’t always work, I know that. Passionate writing needs passion, but there are some instances I think for me where a detached view could help my work. Subjects that need me to be less emotionally involved to create rounded work, I think could be useful. In this way, I can call my own passionate experiences, and combine them with a new, freshly detached view of the story.

That’s the theory anyway. It may also be that I don’t know much about it yet, given I’ve only just started delving. But I am hoping to use the calmness and acceptance of the world around me, to enable to me to write more objectively and passionately about things – particularly things that I have found it hard to even think about, let alone write about.

About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
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1 Response to Editing and Buddhism

  1. Again, this is where I have a problem with Buddhism — too much “acceptance of the world” in the US has allowed Bush to do what he’s done to destroy it. There are times one needs to take ACTION.

    I think your view of using the “detachment” portion is a good angle on it, to me, and via the prism of the people I know who actually practice Buddhism — they tend to mix up “acceptance” and “detachment” with passivity.

    In this day and age, with so many predators and people who want to destroy the world, I think that’s lethal.

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