October 19, 2004

the best way to get approval is not to need it

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More thoughts on "How To Be Creative":

27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.

This is equally true in art and business. And love. And sex. And just about everything else worth having.

About 15 years ago I was hanging out in the offices of Punch, the famous London humor magazine. I was just a kid at the time, for some reason the cartoon editor (who was a famous cartoonist in his own right) was tolerating having me around that day.

I was asking him questions about the biz. He was answering them as best he could while he sorted through a large stack of mail.

"Take a look at this, Sunshine," he said, handing a piece of paper over to me.

I gave it a look. Some cartoonist whose name I recognised had written him a rather sad and desperate letter, begging to be published.

"Another whiney letter from another whiney cartoonist who used to be famous 20 years ago," he said, rolling his eyeballs. "I get at least fifty of them a week from other whiney formerly-famous cartoonists."

He paused. Then he smiled an wicked grin.

"How not to get published," he said. "Write me a frickin' letter like that one."

Posted by hugh macleod at October 19, 2004 10:38 PM | TrackBack