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55. Achievement vs. Success


Still Life with Four Sunflowers - Vincent Van Gogh


I'm very excited about releasing a new album soon! But recently, like so many others in the arts I have encountered huge challenges and suffered some setbacks.


My biggest obstacle is that I am not a fan of social media marketing. And obviously with theaters closed and unproduced plays piling up, the likelihood of having one of my plays produced is extremely low.


I have also run into a wall when it comes to having my music considered for use in the TV and film sync market due to the approach currently in use which screens music submitted based on reducing it to metadata, and then determining how well the metadata conforms to successful formulas in the form of algorithms.


And the only publishing contract currently available to me is absolutely unacceptable because it allows the publisher to change the terms at any time without my input or consent.


.....which brings me to the point of this blog which is the distinction between achievement and success. Some years ago I read a book by the great psychologist and psychoanalyst Otto Rank entitled Art and Artist. In the book Rank offers us the consolation that even if we are not successful, it in no way diminishes our achievements. In fact he goes on to say that success has put many artists in the uncomfortable position of having to repeat whatever it was that made them successful, thereby making them prisoners of their own success.


Naturally despite all that, I want the release of my upcoming album, The Presence of That Absence to be a success. Art requires an audience. So I will continue to plot my next move secure in the knowledge and belief that I am free to create without repeating myself and hope that maybe someday, someone somewhere will see the value in what I have to offer. And if they don't, I can still continue to work for the reward of creating lasting achievements with unique value and character.


Van Gogh tragically sold one painting in his lifetime, fulfilling the requirements of success only after his death. But that in no way diminished his achievements. Integrity has a price.


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