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How Not To Give A F*ck – Meditation

In this continuing series, I will show you how not to give a fuck about your book rejections, bad reviews, and disappointing sales. Please see the table of contents at the bottom of this post for more in this series.

I love meditation. Just when I’m about to rip the couch to shreds because Scrivener refuses to compile a book the way I tell it to or scream because I got a one-star review out of nowhere, I take a moment to count to ten. Really. I stop everything, close my eyes, and count to ten, preferably out loud so other people know not to approach me. I know it’s cliche, but it works, and it’s the simplest form of meditation there is. Closing your eyes and cutting yourself off from the moment, shutting down the screaming in your head, is your first step towards meditation. It’s just the beginning. When you’re on the edge and ready to either cry or whip out a sword and chop heads off, meditation is your friend.

There are a lot of scientific and holistic benefits to meditation. It’s not just for authors about to lose their cool! If you just Google “health benefits of meditation” you’ll find hundreds of reasons why it’s good for you. This article on WebMD cites such benefits as lowered blood pressure, a healthier immune system, and stress reduction, all of which we need to conquer that next revision or that next sales promotion. I have found that meditating in the evening before bed helps me sleep better. Sometimes I meditate in the afternoon in lieu of a nap. I use it to recharge my batteries and prepare for the evening when I will, doubtless, do more work and juggle my kids’ homework and dinner all at the same time. (Did I say being a self-published author is stressful? Hmmm. Well, it is.)

I have a few suggestions on how to meditate:

1) Close out all the things causing you stress – Turn off Scrivener or Word or whatever you use to write. Close the Goodreads tab. Quit your mail program. Set your phone to silent. And walk away. Yep. Walk away. Don’t try to compile again. Don’t look at the reviewer’s profile to determine how crazy they may or may not be. Don’t return that hate email. Just walk away. If you can step outside and get a breath of fresh air, that’s even better. By putting some distance between you and the thing that makes you want to rage or cry, you’re giving your body the space it needs to calm down and meditate. It’s the first step in every part of this series, actually, so pay attention!

2) Choose your preferred method of meditation and get to it – If you can’t meditate because you have kids swarming around your feet, choose another calming activity like coloring with them. If you can’t meditate because you’re at work, head to the bathroom and sit in the stall for three minutes. If you can meditate, do it right away. I have a few iPhone apps (I’m sure they make them for every device) I like from Andrew Johnson I can listen to if I have 20 minutes and time for a nap (because they put me to sleep every time). If I don’t have that time, I watch Bob Ross painting videos on YouTube. No joke. Something about his hair and the sound of his voice and those landscapes puts me in a good mood every time. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.

3) Have a snack or a shower – Anger and then meditation always lower my blood sugar. A snack will put me in a better place to tackle my next task. If I’m still a bit hot under the collar, I take a shower. Not only does the shower put me at a distance from the thing irritating me, it also has a calming effect on all the senses due to the steam, the sound of the shower, the monotony of the shower stall, etc. I spend a lot of time in there either winning arguments with people in my head or I get great ideas! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fixed a plot hole in a book with a good shower. Not only is the shower a great place to meditate, it’s a great place to return to square one. I, usually, come out feeling better about the world.

4) Don’t go back to the activity that caused the breakdown when you’re done – Once you’ve cleansed yourself (either by meditation or shower or both), move on. If the problem was task related, ask for help or Google before tackling it again. If the problem was someone else’s opinion of your work, tell them SILENTLY IN YOUR BRAIN to go fuck themselves and don’t give them your time or energy again. Don’t say that out loud or you’ll be in a whole heap of trouble. Keep those thoughts to yourself.

Do you like to meditate? Has it helped you to not give a fuck? Please tell us in the comments!

Table of Contents for the How Not To Give A F*ck About Your Book Rejections, Bad Reviews, and Disappointing Sales Series

  1. Introduction
  2. Meditation
  3. Exercise
  4. Negative To Positive
  5. Keep Learning
  6. Get A Hobby
  7. Refill The Well
  8. Just Don't Look!
  9. Temper Your Expectations
Expect a new post in this series every Friday!

16 thoughts on “How Not To Give A F*ck – Meditation”

  1. This is the best writing-related blog post I’ve read in ages. Bookmarking. I can’t wait for next Friday’s post.

    1. Thank you so much, Zoe! As you can imagine, writing the posts has helped me deal with my own career and find a measure of peace with things I can’t control. I hope what I’ve learned can help others!

  2. I love the whole idea of this blog too – definitely bookmarked (and shared)! I used to meditate every morning, around an hour a day. This is reminding me I need to get back to it. The last few months I’ve been focusing more on exercise as a way to clear my head – which I ALSO need to do of course – but now I need to work the meditaiton back in, even if it’s only for a short time every day. I lived in India for a few years, mostly around Buddhists, so I do a lot of the meditations I learned there, mostly breath-focusing ones, although I do guided meditations with recordings too.

    1. Exercise is my next post! And I think meditation and exercise are very similar but also work well in conjunction with each other. I’m a fan of guided meditations with my iPhone apps but I also love the breathing ones I’ve learned through yoga.

  3. There’s little that can really make me angry, but for me it usually helps to take some distance and time and eventually the emotions will lesson. And if it’s an e-mail that makes me angry I always make sure to not reply right away as I might say something I regret. I do stress out sometimes, especially when there is something wrong with my computer or website.
    I have never tried meditation, even though it probably would be beneficial as I don’t like the thought of sitting there and doing nothing. I have a hard time sitting still or really relaxing.
    The closest I come is probably colouring. And those bob Ross video’s can be very relaxing, I remember a day when my boyfriend was watching that while I was colouring and it was quite relaxing. I haven’t coloured in a long time now.
    I always worry when I am under the shower, I am sure I am doing something wrong, but I never got the whole the shower is relaxing thing.
    Although sometimes I can come up with good ideas in the shower. It’s
    like I am thinking a lot when showering, I just have to direct it to
    positive things to think about.
    I am looking forward to your other posts in this series!

    1. I think a lot while I shower too, which is why I can solve a lot of plot hole problems while I’m in there. But I think, as long as I direct my attention at something different than the thing that caused me to blow up, it’s better than just being angry. Lol. The guided meditations are really nice. I can focus on the voice of the person speaking and shut out other noise or thoughts. I need to get back to coloring as well! It’s been a long time since I colored anything, and I could probably use the distraction. :)

  4. Pingback: How Not To Give A F*ck About Your Book Rejections, Bad Reviews, and Disappointing Sales – S. J. Pajonas

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S. J. Pajonas