Sunday, September 21, 2008

Alternative thoughts about approval (helpful when submitting work to book publishers or journal editors)

"I don't want people's approval. I want people to think the way they think.... 'You there! Stop your internal life and focus over here, on me! I absolutely know that it's in your best interest to approve of me. I want that, and I don't care what you want.' But you can't control someone else's thinking anyway. It's a house of mirrors. Seeking approval means being stuck in the thought, 'I'm a this,' this little speck, this limited thing." (Byron Katie, from Question Your Thinking, Change the World.)

This was interesting for me to read, and my new answer to it is to more regularly send work to editors without confusing their responses with approval. Publication is not validation. If I desire to feel better about myself as a person, a scholar, an artist, then I meditate or seek guidance. If I desire someone to publish what I have written, then I seek an editor. I try not to confuse the two.

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