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"Love without logic is insanity. And vice versa." Silvia Hartmann 


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Writing With Silvia Hartmann

Inspiration for artists who are struggling with rejection slips ...
 

A Tale Of Two Editors

Here's a little something for the creative artists (and entrepreneurs) amongst us who are struggling with rejection slips, negative comments from editors and suchlike folk, well meaning suggestions from friends and loved ones that they're wasting their time in cloud cuckoo land and trying amidst all of that to keep a level head and not question either their talent or their devotion to their art.

It is actually quite funny all the way around but it happened and I've thought about this and laughed and also sighed.

There was a time in my life when I would have really taken this kind of thing to heart in a big way, especially when I was first starting out with the task to communicate my ideas in writing and was altogether insecure in knowing whether or not I had a right to do this in the first place, whether I was good enough, could ever become good enough, was deluded to think I could ever be anything other than just some slave person punching buttons for a living and all of that.

Much has been written about the value of perseverance over intelligence or talent and that's what any "recognition game" is all about, be it in music, visual arts, as an actor, as a rock musician, perhaps even as a lover Smile

This is completely spot on and correct.

Now, for a moment, imagine that you had sent out an article you thought was very good, well written and content laden to some magazines, obviously in the hope of getting it published.

Amongst the list of submissions were two competing alternative health magazines from the UK and so, here are the two responses we got before I go any further with any more theory (James is my PA who send out the articles).


Response No. 1:


Dear James,

Thank you very much for sending the article by Silvia Hartman. It is very good of you to consider XXXX.

I have read the article and find that it is suitable for a different kind of magazine. I think that our readers expect something in more depth, less sound-bite than this article. I didn't find anything in it that stopped me and took my attention. It was repeating what has been said many times for many many years. I had the impression that rather than offering some real food to readers, the writer was offering some wrapping so as to get people to go to her website.

I am being plain and direct.

She may be capable of writing something more interesting for our readers, but this is not it.

With best wishes,
XXXX


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Response No.2:

Dear James, would you please pass this on to Silvia directly so I can be in contact with her and save time as I want to publish this outstanding article as soon as possible?


Dear Silvia,

Thank you very much for submitting your article Energy Nutrition for publication within xxxxxx. I would be delighted to publish your article in Issue 85 (Feb '03); the Editorial deadline is 29 October.

Please email me your full contact address and telephone details so that I will send you a copy of the magazine when published, and pay you in due course. I would also ideally like to discuss with you some fine details regarding content of the article, more specifically, for you to include an About the Author section at the end.

I attach author's letter with instructions; however I don't have any address and telephone details, for which I await your reply.

Best wishes

XXX


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Ok.

There we have it. The same article. Two magazines in the same country, competing in the same field, with a woman editor of the same age and social group and whose name starts with S each.

Now what?

Is it a good article or is it a bad article?

May I be one day "capable of actually writing something interesting" or have I already done so?

What if *both* editors had responded either one way, or the other?

What would I have thought *then* about my writing abilities?

Now, this is what's known as "feedback".

I'm laughing as I'm writing this because to be truthful, these two responses would have seriously done my head in not so very long ago.

But the thing is that now, neither matters much. For sure, I'm pleased that the article *will* be printed in Magazine 2 and somewhat pissed off at the tone of the editor of Magazine 1 which is quite unneccessarily rude considering I've never met the woman, but it doesn't actually have any longer any impact on my own thoughts as to whether or not I'm a writer or whether or not I can "make it" as a writer.

That is a place I've reached after not inconsiderable struggle and heartache and after many many years of doubting myself into a wreck of misery with the side results of doing things like hiding what I've written just so no-one would be able to reject it and kill what little hope I had then dead altogether, not submitting things, not standing up and doing what I love to do and so on and so forth.

This place of having resolved within yourself what you are and what you are doing is a core thing about whatever one's endeavour might be, a true pre-requisite to success, to somehow come to this place of deciding for oneself whether or not one really is an artist, an entrepeneur, a lover, a this or a that.

It's from that core place of knowing it within yourself that you can bounce back quite happily when someone suggests to you that your endeavours suck and you should just give up and do everyone else a big favour.

I'd like to make a few suggestion that might be helpful in the context of getting there a bit quicker than I did or give some useful food for thought in general.

Firstly, two key notes on the topic of whether or not you're deluding yourself as to the fact you have "what it takes" to succeed at X.

1. A Body Of Work

I don't know how that was but eventually I got the hang of a really and profoundly helpful understanding about the nature of such endeavours, all such endeavours, and that is that one doesn't just hop out of the cradle, produce one giga-mega-zoid super-duper Pulitzer/Nobel prize winning gloriousness just the once and then be feted forever, but instead.

Instead what is actually happening is a progression over time as one develops, and learns, and fails, and succeeds sometimes too and that's the evolving body of work - all the pictures you've ever painted, all the companies you've ever owned, all the songs you've ever written, altogether as a development over TIME.

An artist is a human being who grows and learns and changes and to tell someone they have no talent because their current songs are crap (in their opinion) is idiotic and a meta-model violation as well as a true piece of Korzybskian insanity. This is something we all really need to learn - not so much the editors and record company managers, but we ourselves when we JUDGE our body of work and draw conclusions from these judgements.

From this follows straight note No.2:

2. You Stop, You're Dead.

So you've written a song and it's crap. Now what? You stop, and you are truly dead as an artist or as a human being in that regard. You've had it. Nothing can now get better, nothing can evolve, nothing more can be learned, and all is, indeed, lost.

This is such a disaster and as I was saying before, it happens across all human endeavour - business, love, poetry, you name it. It's a terrible defeat for your own humanity. Sure it's hard when you've done something and you failed - to get the loved one, the orders, the customers, the publishing contract, whatever.

But then to go on and stop loving, stop doing business and crawling back defeated to some prison-like 9-5 for perpetuity, to stop singing and to stop writing, that's a tragedy and it need not ever happen if you remember this in a moment of crisis.


Now, something practical.

We have something today that as far as I'm aware, NO-ONE in the history of mankind has EVER had access to - namely a heap of techniques to repair injuries in the energy body and thus remove emotions and disturbances which arise from this.

Simple, wonderful EFT for example, can and does break through old contortions of all kinds and it's freely available for anyone to use, and not just at crisis point but in general, when doubts creep in and you are remembering all the negative feedback, the put downs, the slagging off's you've received in your lifetime and which are now hindering your forward development in good faith, in congruency, with delight and with excitement as to what you're going to be getting up to next and how much better you're going to be in a few years from now as your *body of work* evolves and grows in power and in stature.

This can't be so unless you start to build it, and if you've started then you must not stop, but only pause once in a while, lick your wounds and go on as you must, the wiser for it, with many things learned and a new refined approach already building in the back of your mind.

You can take criticism and feedback failure and look at it without fear or dread, just take the lessons, laugh and say, "Well with hindsight, that was probably not quite as good an idea as it seemed at the time. Next time, I'll do something differently, see if that works out better for me."

But the one thing I won't let anyone - ANYONE AT ALL - tell me anymore is that I don't have basic human right to GO FOR IT with all my heart so I get to build up my developing body of work over time. No-one has the right to tell that to any human being, and least of all, your very own self.

THAT is something that I've now understood and that is what is different this time round. With THAT comes the right to submit articles , and songs, and paintings, and business proposals, and even deals to clients, relationship invitations to strangers in a bar, the whole gamut of human endeavour, if you will.

If these get spat on, denigrated, rejected, fair enough. Who knows, perhaps they weren't good enough yet and I just can't see that yet as I haven't developed to those bits on the timeline. I'll keep that in mind as a possibility.

If they get accepted, feted and celebrated, that's fair enough also.

Nice they're already so happy, fact is, I know for a fact that *they ain't seen NOTHIN! yet.*

And that is a *very* cool place to be.

Encouraging waves to all,

Silvia

(Writer)


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